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Catch the Buzz…

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By John Williams | 18 January 2019

There's a lot of ‘agility’ around right now, in every imaginable format. So much so, it is almost possible to play 'Buzzword Bingo' with the variations - and that got me thinking... what if we actually DID play Buzzword Bingo with Agility.

If we had a 6 x 4 matrix, we'd need 24 widely used types of Agility to look out for. The first few are easy...


Frankly, I can't imagine how we got here without this one. 'Requisite Agility' is like 'Requisite Number of Players' – no matter how productive the musicians are, it still takes four people to play a string quartet, and no matter how hard teams and leaders work, it still takes an agile mindset to cope with uncertainty and complexity


This is the other side of the coin of Situational Leadership, allowing for the fact that sometimes things are different from other times. As Vilfredo Pareto showed, variation is normal, and that variation demands a varying approach. ‘Situational Agility’ is the application of an agile mindset to a specific environment, experience or… well, situation

Minimum Viable

Okay, that's two words, yet agility afficionados know that 'Minimum' and 'Viable' are indivisible! ‘Minimum Viable Agility’ is a delightfully self-reinforcing concept and deserves double points anyway. Applying agile principles to agility itself is almost cosmic in its adaptive effect

agility buzzwords matrix by John Williams














These are just a few of the buzzwords or buzz phrases being busily shared amongst us. Yet, as you can see, This is no ordinary form of the popular Buzzword game - contrary to ‘Outside the box’ or 'Helicopter perspective' or ‘Run this up the flagpole and see which way the wind is blowing’, the words and phrases being associated with Business Agility actually mean something.


Over the next year, we’ll be looking closely at these explorations beyond the boundaries of ‘Agile’, beginning with Situational Agility, in our forthcoming webinar with Jenny Bailey and guest Fatimah Abbouchi, who is the Managing Director of Agile Management Office in Australia. Register here for the webinar.


In the meantime, the hunt is on. How many prefixes to ‘Agility’ can you find, which – unlike the usual buzzwords – have a sound basis in Business Agility outcomes..?


And maybe then we can call it “The Agility Matrix” and be proud of the Business Agility inherent in the many adaptive variations of the original agile principles.

John Williams is the CEO of Agile Business Consortium, and has an extensive background in the public, private and third sectors, including stockbroking, inward investment promotion, international business, banking and higher education. He has lived or worked in the Far East, Middle East, North America and Europe as well as the UK, and has owned companies in the UK and Hong Kong. 



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