Drivers of Agile Transformation in Organizations

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  • 0:04 The Need for Agility
  • 1:04 Factors Affecting Changes
  • 2:48 Critical Needs for…
  • 4:03 Repercussions of Non-Agility
  • 4:41 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Nathan Hurwitz

Dr. Nathan Hurwitz is a tenured Associate Professor in Theatre and has three books in print, two textbooks and a coffee table book.

Why are many businesses are shifting to an agile model? This lesson looks at forces and factors that drive them towards this shift and some of the risks associated with not considering agility.

The Need for Agility

Sixty-six million years ago, a meteor struck the earth. It created the Chicxulub Crater and caused the widespread extinction of the dinosaurs. Although the dinosaurs died out, many species survived, including insects, tropical birds, crocodiles, turtles, and primates. The prevailing theory attributes survival of these species to their smaller size and flexibility, which gave them the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Similarly, success in the business world requires this same flexibility, creativity, and speed. Today, change is the only constant, and unless a business can adjust to the times in ever-shortening turnover cycles, they have no chance at success.

Business agility includes three critical qualities of creativity, flexibility, and speed. Businesses must be able to think creatively as events and circumstances change, alter a plan, and do all of this on demand and in the moment. These factors separate the successes from the strugglers and failures.

Factors Affecting Changes

These marketplace changes can be broken down into four distinct areas. They are consumer shifts, competition factors, technological advances, and global economic evolution.

Consumer shifts are driven by regularly changing consumer needs as well as their path to purchase. Consumers interface with products via research online, social networks, mobile apps, or in-store visits. Social networks and other new advertising delivery methods have overtaken and supplanted older advertising methods. Today's customers know what they want, and they expect immediate results and responsive interactions. As consumers shift, businesses need to change in order to fulfill their needs and expectations.

Competition factors manifest themselves in all sorts of new ways. Today's businesses develop partnerships and use each other's resources to face their own evolving needs. Competing with one of these companies requires that you maintain their level of flexibility. Products, branding, marketing, and delivery methods all regularly shift in order to stay a step ahead of the competition. The ability to face the daily changing market realities requires a great information and analysis stream.

Technological advances impact both consumer shifts and competition factors but are their own subgroup. Not only do today's businesses have to keep up with new technology, they also have to continually be aware of how to use it for their benefit.

The global economic evolution changes faster than ever. India is the fastest growing economy in the world in 2018, but the Ivory Coast, Vietnam, Ethiopia, and Libya all had higher GDP growth rates in 2017. Markets emerge quickly, and this requires an almost immediate response to new data as it becomes available.

Critical Needs for Business Agility

Business agility is much more than a great buzzword; it's a requirement of staying competitive in practically any business. As listed above, markets, products, technology, and entire economies are shifting faster than ever.

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