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Reimagining Agility: Change, empowerment and the organisation of tomorrow

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Agility as a movement has been around for 20 years. While it never feels fast enough, firms are embracing flatter hierarchies, giving individuals more authority to influence outcomes, and recognizing the ability to adapt to change far exceeds the myth of getting everything right the first time.

Companies have tried to transform themselves digitally for years. But the pace has been uneven, in part because of cultural resistance to embrace uncertainty and controlled experimentation.

The past year and a half has been the greatest test of every businesses agility and leadership mindset to find new ways forward. As part of the lessons learned from the pandemic, companies have had to take hard looks in the mirror at themselves and the systems they have in place to help them learn through uncertainty—to the point that many have come to realize that what they believe was responsive must be re-envisioned.

In this report I co-authored with The Economist, and 13 leading innovators, we explore how agility is manifesting itself in a world roiled by digital disruption, changing priorities for companies, workers, and consumers, and an epidemic.

Key findings:

  • Agility’s focus on the agency of the individual is providing the foundation for success amid profound changes in relationship between workers, companies, partners, customers and broader society.
  • What steps agile companies have taken to respond quickly to the crisis of covid-19, rolling out new services more rapidly in response to shifts in demand.
  • What roles and priorities Managers and the C-suite have had to examine and update their skills to drive their teams and organisations through a succession of challenges.
  • Case studies from companies such as; DFS, American Airlines, Tesco Bank, and Banco Santander.