In the spirit of community, we invite a kaleidoscope of perspectives that span clients, coaches/consultants, authors, and influencers across industries/domains and vantage points to explore their individual and collective experience with Business, Agility, Business Agility, Strategy, Leadership, Culture, Execution, Technology, Transformation, Digital Transformation, Complexity, Disruption, Creativity, Innovation, etc.
Hosted by Barry Bettman, Denise DiPiano, and Lynn Stafford.
Edward (Ted) Bauer
Arie van Bennekum
Lisa Nemeth Cavanagh
Diana Wu David
James Key Lim
Miguel Fernandes Pala
Reflections & Learnings from Guest Conversations
Agile is Broken
Women Leading Change – Transformation and the Future of Work
Sun Tzu’s Art of War
AutoVIN Case Study – Original Transformation Team
Cars.com Case Study – Original Transformation Team
Thriving on Disruption
AutoVIN Case Study
Cars.com Case Study
Lightning Panel: The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Change: Business, Technology, and People
Lisa Nemeth Cavanagh, Robert Claybrook, Denise DiPiano, and Si Alhir explore the good, bad, and ugly of change based on their experiences across industries and clients.
Lisa, a seasoned business strategist, Bob, a visionary technology executive, Denise, a formidable human resource practitioner, and Si, a pragmatic unconventional-yet-proven change catalyst, will contribute perspective and insights in a vibrant conversation with takeaways you can put input practice immediately for impact.
Barry explores business agility from his unique vantage point and experience — the Why, What, and How of business agility.
Learn more about Barry.
“Business agility is a way of thinking and working. It’s an open and aspirational mindset, perspective and constant series of actions that incessantly seek to deliver new value to evolving markets. Agility is the key to relevance.”
Learn more about Brian at BrianSolis.com, Lifescale, X, and Altimeter.
Maya explores business agility from her unique vantage point and experience — the Why, What, and How of business agility.
Learn more about Maya.
Simone explores business agility from his unique vantage point and experience — the Why, What, and How of business agility.
Learn more about Simone at Platform Design Toolkit.
Gary explore business agility and digital transformation from their unique vantage points and experiences through the lens of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.
Learn more about Gary at the Science of Strategy Institute (SOSI) and Amazon for various books.
Lightning Panel: Micro Strategies Case Study
Anthony Bongiovanni, Beverly Geiger, Lisa Nemeth Cavanagh, Mike Mespelli, Ray Scardelli, Sotiris Sergiou, and Avery Quayle of Micro Strategies share their business agility transformation journey.
“Business Agility is a misnomer. Any business needs to be agile during periods of instability and it needs to be constantly making sense of the world in order to act in it. Agile is a generic framework for software development which in practice is too dependent on manufacturing metaphors and short cycle linear processes. Modern strategy needs to be fractal with operations, multiple fast feedback loops to identify plausible pathways – it’s not about sprints or platitudes.”
Audio (December 5, 2019)
Webinar (December 5, 2019)
Learn more about Stan at SLAP, Bury My Heart at Conference Room B (Manager Culture), Under the Hood (Employee Culture), and The Hungry and the Hunted (Customer Culture).
Lightning Panel: Agile is Broken
“Ultimately, business agility comes down to being open to the unexpected.
Business agility is also valuable as an operating ethos because it encourages minimal investment in strategic paths that might soon become obsolete. . . . Having open and portable data that can transcend the constraints of the technical stack is one hallmark of business agility.
Business agility is also a focus on exceptional, rather than trend, reporting. It signals a significant shift away from business management information that ratifies executive decision-making and looks instead to find insights not already on the corporate radar. . . . This kind of business agility enables operational dexterity. Today, thinking the unthinkable is a key ingredient in developing resilience and operating advantage.”
Lightning Panel: AutoVIN Case Study – Original Transformation Team
Jeremy Dibble, Kirsten Erwin, Rick Fouts, Julius Hamelberg, Mark Noyce, Harish Pai, Johnathan Watkins, Freddie Lowe, and Sherry Westfield reunite for a conversation almost a decade after their AutoVIN business agility transformation journey — they remember the experience and share what they still carry with them from the experience, how their individual paths have progressed, and what perspective they offer others on similar transformation journeys.
Audio (October 23, 2019)
Webinar (October 23, 2019)
Learn more about the AutoVIN Case Study.
“Business agility is being transformed. Traditionally, it has referred, for the most part, to processes within an enterprise. An agile business was one that could rapidly iterate to respond quickly and effectively to changes in the business environment. Today, however, with Moore’s Law coming to an end and nascent technologies such as quantum and neuromorphic computing, synthetic biology, materials science and AI coming to the fore, the problems we need to solve are far more complex and collaboration between firms, government agencies and academic institution is becoming a competitive advantage. So horizontal agility, the ability to widen and deepen connections between enterprises, is becoming more important.”
“Business agility is the cumulative effect of the team’s personal agility. My work is focused on the individual, and how their attitude and impact, when in brilliant collaboration delivers immensely successful outcomes. The opposite of agility, at a personal level, is to be stuck, rigid and in resistance to change.”
“Business agility is the intersection of digital thinking, digital design and digital delivery. It requires the seven digital components laid out on the Wall Street Journal best seller on digital transformation.
1. Executives need to be digital explorers.
2. Data is newly forming in what we called themes and streams.
3. Everything has to be sculpted around the idea of customers having portfolios of experiences.
4. Moments not journeys drive agility.
5. Marketing and communications are one flow.
6. Everybody is responsible to each other in real time.
7. Strategy is only one step ahead the whole time.
Business agility is the high existence of all these seven digital DNA components working together all the time.”
“Business agility is the ability of a company to proactively react to change. Although it sounds simple, true business agility is a challenging goal as an agile mindset is required throughout the organization. This agile mindset consists of a certain set of common values and principles that have to be defined by the management and communicated to the whole company in an understandable way. Servant leaders who act according to the core principle of continuous improvement are the key to a successful agile organization.”
“Business agility, as illustrated, is more about duality, the use of opposites, rather than focusing on the polarity of direction and tactics. Like the businessman in the chair, we see the juxtaposition of the cup, full and empty, wanting and resisting, beginning and ending all at the same moment, all the while his reflection is only a reversed view and not an opposite. Inspired by the face cards on a deck of cards, duality allows us to change positions without changing our direction. Business agility acts the same as the face card, we can shift from opposites in duality while still remaining our direction.”
Lightning Panel: Women Leading Change – Transformation and the Future of Work
Kayley Crockett, Amanda Kreutziger, Barbara O’Connor, Angie Prince, Lisa Nemeth Cavanagh, and Denise DiPiano explore business agility and digital transformation from their unique vantage points and experiences through the lens of women leading change.
“In an increasingly complex and uncertain world, the answer is not to seek certainty, but instead seek to develop the capacity to identify and react to the unforeseen: this is the deep rationale for organizational agility.”
Lightning Panel: Sun Tzu’s Art of War
Gary Gagliardi, Thomas Huynh, Becky Sheetz, Lisa Nemeth Cavanagh, and Ron Mente explore business agility and digital transformation from their unique vantage points and experiences through the lens of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.
Jacque Harper, Clay Johnson, Mahi Inampudi, Len Lagestee, John Manganaro, Jim Sanders, and Jonathan Yenkin reunite for a conversation almost a decade after their Cars.com business agility transformation journey — they remember the experience and share what they still carry with them from the experience, how their individual paths have progressed, and what perspective they offer others on similar transformation journeys.
“Agility is the ability to transition from one pattern of actions and ideas to another — which implies changing our similar implicit orientation / mental models — in order to influence or, if necessary, react to an environment of rapid, unpredictable, and threatening change.”
“Business is not only about maximizing shareholder value, it is about succeeding together with your stakeholders: customers, users, employees, partners, owners, the community where you operate, … Agility is not only about a ready ability to move with quick, easy grace, it is about the ability to adapt to and influence situations more rapidly than competition, including timely break out of successful — but non-sustainable — patterns.”
“For me business agility is something much wider than the two words ‘business’ and ‘agility’ mean. I say this because in our time – and I’m sure it will be more and more true in the future – our eyes should move from the organization to embrace the whole ecosystem(s) in which that org is. So business agility is – and will be – more and more the ability to perceive the ecosystem(s) in which we are and acting in resonance with this ecosystem(s). Only this will allow us to naturally adapt to the changes of the social/economic/politic/natural environment helping our organization to thrive in its multiple contexts.
In a nutshell: business agility is the ability to perceive the transcontextuality of an organization and acting naturally and according to the evolution of the ecosystem(s) in which the organization is.”
Conference: TheChoiceConference.com (Madrid, 18-20 October 2019)
“Business agility is not only about responding to accelerating change via rapid, learning oriented iterations. It’s also about responding to increasing interconnection by increasing empowerment and stakeholder engagement. Agile methods, processes, and systems are essential. But so is creating an agile leadership culture. Research has shown that companies with higher levels of agility in their leadership culture are more agile and have better business performance.”
“Lasting business agility, the ability to grasp possibility and create ever-greater customer value in the opportunity existing before the enterprise, originates with enterprise regeneration. Embracing the paradox of vitalization, enterprises infusing meaning unleash their potential to embrace individual customers, liberate creativity, orchestrate vitality, effect their creative destruction, and achieve coherence producing the regeneration enabling them to thrive forever.”
“How do we change organisational culture . . . one conversation at a time.
There are only two ways to create an Agile Business out of a conventional business: change the leaders or change the leaders.”
“Future-proofing is the process of anticipating the future and developing methods of minimizing the negative effects while taking advantage of the positive effects of shocks and stresses due to future events. Future-proofing is a broader understanding of resilience that is equally applicable to the historic, existing, and new built environment. Future-proofing is respecting the past while enabling the future because a building lived in, is a building loved, is a building lasting.”
Lightning Panel: Business Agility
“Business agility is the means by which an organization aligns its people and processes to strategically address factors both within and outside of its control.
With a disciplined plan of action, a highly agile organization can quickly attack a valuable market opportunity. Identifying a gap that is relevant to its customers, an agile company can align team members from all parts of the organization to maximize their ability to capture that opportunity. This type of execution requires the entire organization to not only maintain a consistent agile strategy, but to align all departments to the overall vision of the organization in order to quickly AND consistently move as a whole.”
“Business Agility comes from two distinct organizational competencies – 1) ability to sense a change in customer preference and business landscape 2) ability to promptly respond to position the firm in advantageous position through internal rapid experimentation (internally or through relationship with vendors and partners).”
“At the end of the day, Business Agility is not about adopting a set of tools or new org structures, although these may be elements of the solution. It is more fundamentally about adopting a new set of beliefs about how to compete in a fast-paced, disruptive market. Once those beliefs are adopted, the choice of tools, org structure, and operating model will not only be self-evident, they will be unique to every company who undertakes this journey; just as unique as their business strategy.”
Audio (July 18, 2019)
Webinar (July 18, 2019)
Resource: How to create an agile organization (McKinsey & Company, 2017)
Resource: Untangling your organization’s decision making (Aaron De Smet, Gerald Lackey, and Leigh M. Weiss; McKinsey & Company, 2017)
Resource: The five trademarks of agile organizations (Wouter Aghina, Karin Ahlback, Aaron De Smet, Gerald Lackey, Michael Lurie, Monica Murarka, and Christopher Handscomb; McKinsey & Company, 2018)
“Business agility is like clean energy for tomorrows workforce – it self-renews and replenishes from the reduction in friction in our minds and structures as we shift from attacking to accepting change: good for people, good for business.”
“The components of business agility are market agility (understand trends in customer needs, technology, competition and regulation. Anticipate what might happen next, and identify opportunities), decision agility (make fast, fact-based decisions about how to pursue market opportunities), and execution agility (enlist and inspire your organization to execute the new direction, and adjust course as events unfold). It’s like being a snow skier, racing down a black diamond slope. You have to see what’s coming (a tree, a mogel, a patch of ice), make a quick decision about how to respond, then take action and adapt as you go.”
Question: What to do when lack of trust is holding your organization back?
Question: How can you identify those parts of your business where learning and agility are most important?
Comment: Is your senior leadership blase about the change that’s coming at you, here’s how to get them on board.
Comment: Why not being held accountable is even more stressful than being held accountable.
“Business agility at the individual, team, and organizational levels . . . Are we able to deftly respond to changes in our environment? Do we sense what’s happening externally and proactively seek to learn and grow in new directions? Are we simultaneously able to remain true to our core — keep pointing true north — while keeping pace with change — dynamic homeostasis? Do we wisely discern between reinvention and stability — and promote courageous conversations to enable all voices to be heard and contribute up, down, and across our systems?”
“Business Agility is the mindset that drives a culture to effectively operate in volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment. It is a collection of principles and practices that can be applied to allow businesses to drive fast and still steer outcomes based on customer or market inputs. It can be measured in the ability of an organization or company to pivot and flex to respond while maintaining the cohesiveness and safety of the group.”
“Business Agility is the clarity an organization possesses on how they generate customer and stakeholder value and the ability to mobilize all parts of itself: people, process and technology to shift and adapt as quickly as possible to any new data or changing conditions, internal or external, that allow it to generate this value with greater insight, speed or quality.”
“Business agility is the ability for organizations to continually adapt to the ever-evolving business, technology and cultural demands which influence their business. It requires awareness of these demands, a discipline to identify how they are or may influence their business, and a courage to take the actions necessary to adapt. It is a mindset that must be cultivated and nurtured throughout an organization to allow it to survive and thrive.”
“Business agility is the ability to adapt to change in a way that allows the business to survive and thrive.”
“In simple terms business Agility is how effectively an organization can adapt to changing market forces. But when we probe deeper, it’s about staying connected with the aspects of people, processes and technology at all the times. It’s sticking to the unflinching commitment of continuous improvement while investing in people, the greatest asset of any organization.”
“Business agility is more than a way of conducting business. It requires a transformation of how an organization hires, develops and manages their associates and a change from the traditional organization structure and hierarchy; it is a cultural change.”
“As the ‘business’ side matures in their application of agile practices, they are naturally calling into question the separation of the software development teams and are starting to experiment with true end to end delivery teams inclusive of all business parts (strategy, design, business and technology execution). Having this type of team make up with clear goals, planning, problem solving, and learning cycles accelerate the overall business / company’s ability to respond to constantly changing conditions that allow us a vital edge of competition in the marketplace and greater satisfaction with employees having a holistic understanding of their role and the value they provide.”
“Business agility allows organizations to respond rapidly to internal and external changes without losing momentum, vision or compromising its values. It is only achievable when the organization’s culture embraces transparency, trust and safety vs the fear of the unknown.”
“Business agility is the ability of a Company to rapidly change, adapt and evolve in response to challenges and opportunities created by their external and internal environments.”
“Business agility is a no-brainer. I never did agility for IT only because it doesn’t give you anything. Business agility means having the corporate capability to respond to change and based on this being able to bring your products (or services or whatever) earlier to market with better business value and strong internal quality. Software on its own doesn’t do anything, it’s always the combination of software and all the other aspect, like marketing and legal (and anything else, that is required) to go to market. A very fast IT department and very slow rest of the organization still makes the delivery to market slow. You can’t afford being slow anymore because there is always some competition somewhere that’s fast.”
“Business agility is the ability to modify current or create new business capabilities to respond to market changes, in order to align with evolving customer needs related to the mission of the organisation.”
“Business agility involves adaptation (sense and respond) and evolution (cycles and scales) . . . the 5 Es and 5 Cs . . . Ecosystem / Configuration, Engagement / Connection, Entrepreneurship / Congruence, Enterprise (Ecosystem-organization) / Coherence, Experience / Calibration.”
Business Agility and Digital Transformation: Real Stories from the Trenches
(International Coach Federation – Los Angeles)
Slides (August 2019)
Webinar (August 2019)
Business Agility: Why? Why? And How?
(The Institute of Leadership & Management – ILM)
Slides (April 2019)
Webinar (April 2019)