In business these terms are used to describe people and systems trained or designed to cope with rapidly changing business environments that have a degree of robustness and resilience to change and act is an appropriate responsive manner or adjust one’s behaviour accordingly



Competency Level


Knowledge (Theories, Ideas & Concepts)

Through Professional/Personal Study Gained Through Experience
  • The knowledge of how to engage in the continual balancing act of withstanding turbulent change whilst creating stable anchor points to help cement transformational activities and adapt to new realities. Harnessing uncertainty and making teams flexible, able to take rapid actions to help with re-invention
  • Agility in a business content refers to being able to respond to external unplanned circumstances that have not been considered, planned or tested for. Business have to rely on their existing resources and capabilities to deal with the unfolding events, and the resultant behaviours in responding to the unpredictable circumstances
  • Flexibility in a business content is centred around the planning for unexpected developments and making room for them by adapting the existing business processes. There are degrees of flexibility around already hypothesised scenarios and situations, which is then linked to amount of resource is set aside to deal with these predicted scenarios/events

Skills & Application of Knowledge
in Real World Situations

Together with Responsibilities/Accountabilities
  • The ability to survive in business (resilience) against competitors and variable markets take precedence in the majority of executive decision making processes. Meeting year end targets and achieving business continuity through business as usual (BAU) activities takes centre stage. Karl was involved in leading major bid activities associated with a large support bid for a major defence contractor
  • The ability to quickly regain stability (robustness) after major changes and transformation is essential in all business settings. Karl was involved in a major transformation programme to introduce a new operating model. Mitigation actions (Redundancy) are those taken in advance of a disruption or event, that incurs a financial cost/resource cost regardless of disruption, which is considered likely to reduce the cost, impact, likelihood or severity
  • When you are on the ground implementing change you need to have the capacity to change course (flexibility
    or agility) rapidly. As a Change Agent, you are taught the tools and techniques to help you deal with these scenarios. Karl trained Change Agents to perform these roles and recognises the need to get through the eventual negative dip associated with change [see Download Page: SANDREGO]

What does Flexibility and Agility Involve?

Selected Challenges & Approaches

Together With lessons Learnt
  • Supply Chain Management is a classic case where flexibility and agility need to work in harmony. Complexities of writing requirements, dealing with changes, selecting the procurement process and suppliers, undertaking development and manufacturing, then the final issue of release and delivery can be very challenging [Wider variety of products and services that are expected to be tailorable and delivered at mass production prices, will lead to trade-offs
    and integration challenges, where there is no unified globally agreed standardisation that exists – more agility will be needed in future]
  • Software Development is another classic example as technology software innovation is inextricably linked to business outcomes [Businesses need continually evolving evergreen systems, products and applications built in modules that are supplier agnostic that can be swapped in/out as required. Accelerated delivery will require more engineering, less overheads, test-driven development, model-based system engineering, continuous deployment opportunities, and transparency and measurement control based feedback loops]
  • The current conflict being played out in businesses deciding to manage project either via traditional models (used for major infrastructure related projects) or using agile (used for informational systems due to the unpredictable nature of change) is causing major anxiety. There is a lot of learning and change that is associated with business evolving from a waterfall development and delivery model to agile service based models. [see Download Page: Service Based Model]

Selected Achievements & Successes

Together with Any ‘So What’ Statements of Insights
  • Renegotiating a platform delivery model to save the customer time and disruption when introducing new capabilities [keep an eye out for usages of synergy to help realise opportunities]
  • Using lean techniques to improve the speed of software downloads and allow users to uplift software in the field [opportunistic agility can disrupt executive strategies and quickly move issues into political arenas, so take care how to bring them into focus and be very sensitive to all aspects of stakeholder management]
  • Teaching aspects of Management Information and Organisational Design has taught me that pursuing, monitoring and improving capabilities in five keys areas (leadership, people/talent management, design, change management & organisational culture – reference ‘Own the Future’) gives companies a competitive advance and generates lasting performance gains

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