Agility Transformation Requires Self-Disruption!

Agile promises revolutionary results.

quires Disruption! Mike Russell

OK – maybe not that kind of revolutionary result 🙂

Conventional wisdom says that if you change your processes to “agile,” you will achieve “enterprise agility.”  And doing so will bring revolutionary results for the entire business.  That is far too simplistic and is, basically, wrong!

Achieving agility requires self-disruption

Traditionally, businesses have been designed to maximize stability and minimize change.

Therefore, transforming from business stability to agility is only achieved when you change the business design.  That means disrupting the entire business for agility: strategy, culture, people, and yes, processes.  Achieving revolutionary results requires a revolution within the business as well.

Furthermore, in an environment of relentless change, change must be usual rather than unusual.  That means self-disruption may be ongoing, not just a one-time event!

Starting points

To achieve business agility, change mindsets (yours and others) and leverage some necessary frameworks:

  • A “Wrong Until Right” mindset.  This mindset is described in several posts on this website (here’s an introduction) and in the Wrong Until Right book.  What are some examples of “right until wrong” mindsets in your business?  How does a “right until wrong” mindset affect how work is done?  What are some examples of “right until wrong” in how you lead?  Identify at least one example and work on it everyday until “Wrong Until Right” becomes habit.  Then, pick the next most important example and work on it.  And keep going …
  • The Total Business Performance® framework.
    How to Succeed Despite Relentless Change - TBP - Mike Russell
    Process change alone will not generate lasting agility.  You must also consider and disrupt culture, people, & strategy.  What are some of your obstacles to agility and “wrong until right” in each quadrant of the framework?  Which ones are in your control and can be tackled right now?  Which obstacles can you influence and begin moving?
  • Basic agile leadership and the C.E.O.S. perspective (see this insight).  Agile leadership is first changing your leadership to “Wrong Until Right” and being an example for others.  Also, agility requires some level of autonomy for workers.  They need to respond to changes and improve work results.  This means you as a leader must work “on” the organization rather than just “in” it, doing individual work.  You must provide the environment so everyone can contribute to agility.  The C.E.O.S. perspective helps you do this.  Improving and balancing the C.E.O.S. “quadruple bottom line” is both your goal and key to practical, effective servant leadership.  Why might each of your stakeholder groups resist agility?  How can you change the work environment for motivation and agility?
  • The change formula.  The linked insight discusses the formulas that govern if people will change.  The formulas regulate any change and especially the fundamental changes needed for agility.  How does the “agility” message play in your company?  How might you improve it?  You should think of this as internal marketing that will need repetition and reinforcement throughout the change to agility …

What will you do?

Business agility requires “self-disruption.”  It is only achieved by disrupting the entire business: strategy, culture, people, and processes.

What will you do to accelerate disruption?


By Mike Russell