Strategic Agility – Accelerate
Highlights by David Willden
John P. Kotter in his article titled “Accelerate” provides helpful ideas for thinking about strategic agility:
Johns suggests that instead of trying to replace traditional hierarchies and processes that organizations add a “second operating system.” This system or network would be dedicated to developing and implementing strategies in an agile manner.
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Perhaps the greatest challenge business leaders face today is how to stay competitive amid constant turbulence and disruption. Any company that has made it past the start-up stage is optimized for efficiency rather than for strategic agility-the ability to capitalize on opportunities and dodge threats with speed and assurance. I could give you 100 examples of companies that, like Borders and RIM, recognized the need for a big strategic move but couldn’t pull themselves together to make it and ended up sitting by as nimbler competitors ate their lunch. The examples always play out the same way: An organization that’s facing a real threat or eyeing a new opportunity tries-and fails-to cram through some sort of major transformation using a change process that worked in the past. But the old ways of setting and implementing strategy are failing us. We can’t keep up with the pace of change, let alone get ahead of it. At the same time, the stakes-financial, social, environmental, political-are rising. The hierarchical structures and organizational processes we have used for decades to run and improve our enterprises are no longer up to the task of winning in this faster-moving world.