Agility is one of those buzzwords that can have many different meanings. In a recent article by Leo M. Tillman and General Charles Jacoby, they define Agility much the same way I think about it:
Agility is the capacity to detect, assess, and respond to environmental changes in ways that are purposeful, decisive, and grounded in the will to win
Several years ago when I reflected on the exponential pace of our world, it struck me that the only way to deal with the shifts that are coming is through a resilience that permeates an organization. At the heart of any Transformation in my mind was the enablement of this resilience. Fast forward several years and I’m more convinced than ever that the Strategic Foundation of an organization must be adaptive at its core. The above article describes it this way:
Agile organizations possess both strategic and tactical agility. Strategic agility enables entire organizations to move with the speed of relevance: to detect and assess major trends and environmental changes and dynamically adapt their strategic visions, business models, human capital and campaign plans. Tactical agility enables employees to move with the speed of the challenge: to take smart risks, capture opportunities, improvise and innovate as they execute a clear strategy. This requires the buy-in and active engagement of the whole organization, up and down the hierarchy and out to the very edges.
Realizing this vision for an organization is hard. In most cases, traditional organizations do not have the Sense and Respond mechanisms required to effectively accomplish the things described above. It is therefore refreshing to see an article and a Book dedicated to this definition of agility. I have not read the book yet – but it is sure to enter my Book Library soon.
One thought on “Agility”
Agility takes energy. Practicing agility uses more energy than status quo. For that reason, It is necessary to understand how much institutional energy is available to respond and practice agility.
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