Agile High Jumper

The business case for Business Agility - and how to achieve it?

23 June 2018

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The fast pace of change in a complex, interconnected world presents many challenges for organisations.  The term ‘Business Agility’ is often used to discuss the adoption and evolution of values, behaviours and capabilities that enable businesses and individuals to be more adaptive, creative and resilient in turbulent times.  Business Agility is about much more than just another enterprise-wide set of processes.  To be truly Agile, an organisation needs to operate in a very different way, with leadership, values and norms all reinforcing an inclusive culture and mindset.

There is mounting evidence that Business Agility delivers the results needed to build successful organisations; such as when the UK’s biggest broadcasting company, UKTV.4, saw its market share increase from 4% to 10% - doubling its value in less than five years – when it removed command and control hierarchical structures to create a flatter organisation.

The Agile Business Consortium has been studying new research and approaches to business challenges in order to move towards greater Business Agility in three main areas:

  • Strategic agility – MIT research shows Agile firms grew revenue 37% faster and generated 30% higher profits than non-Agile companies
  • Employee engagement - businesses focused on passion and purpose outperformed S&P 500 companies by a factor of 14 times over a 15-year period
  • Innovation – Google’s new products such as GMail have been powered by the ‘20% time’ concept, empowering employees to work on projects of their own choosing

Key findings

The particular techniques and approaches of Business Agility are not unique to an Agile approach. However, when you draw them together you find a Business Agility overview capable of leading organisations small and large through the complexities and challenges introduced by a world dominated by fast-moving change. 

Business Agility offers guidance for staying focused on strategic delivery, it helps nurture the employees that will be responsible for the future success of our organisations, and it suggests the cultural shifts that are needed to enable true and continuing innovation.