About Agility Theory

To begin, we need to establish what we mean by ‘theory’. When some people hear the word ‘theory’ they think it means something that is not true or might be true but nobody really knows. In their mind, a theory is different from a fact. But that is not how we are using the word ‘theory’.

When we use the word ‘theory’ we mean that it is an explanation of reality. A theory describes ‘facts’ and explain why these facts are the way they are. So, an agility theory is an attempt to explain how agility works and why agility leads to greater success.

3 Components of Agility

Agility has 3 components, which means that the word ‘agility’ is emergent or a high-level concept. The 3 components of agility are The Success Pattern, Personal Change Fitness, and Organisational Change Readiness. As these 3 components work together in increasing levels of harmony, agility grows.

This page focuses on agility theory. To understand how any of this helps you identify whether an organisation is ready to change, click here.

The Success Pattern™

The Success Pattern is a pattern of behaviours that humans follow when they successfully make changes. ‘The Success Pattern’ is our name for the Transtheoretical Model of Change, originally developed by Prochaska and DiClemente in the 1970s and 1980s.

However, we should understand that The Success Pattern is very much about human behaviour. People refer to it as the change process and we could be fooled into thinking that there is something out there in the environment called ‘change’ and this is how it works. No, it is not how change works. It is how people behave when they successfully make changes. 

There are 5 steps in this behavioural pattern and to succeed at change, we must succeed at each step. Is that easy to do? Often the answer is ‘no’. Why is it not easy?

Because change means learning new ways of behaving, new ways of thinking, acquiring or creating new knowledge, and letting go of behaviours and knowledge we used to rely on.

Personal Change Fitness

Change requires learning. If we already have the knowledge