How Agile Do You Need to Be?

In The Upside of Turbulence Donald Sull makes an insightful statement, “companies do not pass through life cycles, opportunities do.” Turbulence causes opportunities and companies learn to take advantage of them, or they wither. Managing this flow of opportunities, which are increasingly disruptive, requires organizations to think seriously about their agility; as Sull defines it […]

Effective Collaboration: Discussion, Decision Making, Commitment

The Agile community promotes the value of collaboration in teams, although promotes may too weak a verb for our fascination with collaboration. And while collaboration can have many benefits, in practice we often act as if collaboration was mostly about talking to each other. It’s really far more than talking and I think there are […]

Constraints Drive Innovation

On a recent vacation I visited the Mingei International Museum in San Diego. During a tour by the museum director we were looking at a mid-1930’s Santo Domingo Pueblo (New Mexico) necklace. “Interesting about this necklace,” the director said, “are the ‘nots’– not coral, not obsidian (but old melted phonograph records for the black element). […]

Embracing Paradox

“All of us like to think that human affairs are essentially rational. … The wealth of experience that fails to support this notion never seems to faze us. … That human affairs usually work not rationally but paradoxically.” “… because of the sense of omnipotence that plagues American management, the belief that no event or […]

What is Agility?

There is no Agility for Dummies. Agility isn’t a silver bullet. You don’t achieve it in five easy steps. So what is it? For myself, I’ve characterized agility in two statements: Agility is the ability to both create and respond to change in order to profit in a turbulent business environment. Agility is the ability […]