Webinar: Misconceptions Of Agility, 10/6/14, recording/slides

Click here for a PDF of the slides from the October 6 webinar

with Chris Worley (Senior Research Scientist, CEO), Tom Williams (Senior Executive Advisor, Strategy&), and Ed Lawler (Director, CEO)


Organization agility, the ability to make timely, effective, and sustained changes, is one of the hot topics in board rooms, management retreats, and business headlines. In a world characterized by technological change, globalization, and market volatility, an organization’s ability to adapt to or cause change is increasingly valuable.

But for every supposed advantage of agility, there are an equal number of misconceptions. That is, many executives want the benefits of agility but are unaware of its important assumptions or implications. Initiatives to improve organization agility can negate the advantages, result in wasted effort, or destroy management’s credibility.

One of the reasons we wrote The Agility Factor was to clarify the definition of agility, understand its performance consequences, and describe its organization design and leadership requirements. Our research showed that there were consistently high-performing companies in every industry. What made them different from companies whose performance oscillated over the same 30 years? It was not simply that they were opportunistic, quick to react, or lucky.

In this webinar, Chris Worley, Tom Williams, and Ed Lawler will present and discuss several of the leading “misconceptions of agility.” For example, agility is often thought of as expensive, chaotic, and opportunistic rather than efficient, disciplined, and forward thinking. It can be mistakenly viewed as a set of short-term activities, blindly focused on increasing speed, or synonymous with innovation. Each of these misconceptions are summarized and the practical realities described with cases and examples from organizations that have or are building more agile capabilities.