Getting to Know Agility

What do we know about the strategic creation of agile organisations?

In 2014, Schulling reported on a 25 year-long study into this question. Here are 6 insights from that study.

  1. Develop an inquiry focus. Don’t base decisions on assumed knowledge but foster an attitude of inquiry.
  2. Encourage diverse views. For most business issues, there is no one right answer. Seek multiple perspectives.
  3. Create a safe environment. If you want people to think and act in agile ways, they need to feel safe.
  4. Get people involved in making decisions. Not just tactical decisions, but strategic ones too.
  5. Support people through training and technology. If you want to encourage agility, they need adequate support.
  6. Reward people for being agile. If they are performing in agile ways, give them a big tick.

These 6 principles should guide your strategic decisions if you want to create an agile organisation.

You need to decide what you want. If you want agility, be prepared for a short-term drop in efficiency, and probably quality. But if you can’t jeopardise efficiency and quality, you might have to sacrifice agility.

But if you sacrifice agility, you might not survive. This is a theme in Clay Christensen’s book “The Innovators Dilemma”.

Do you need help creating agility, both within people and within the entire organisation? If so, reach out to me and let’s talk.

Steve Barlow
Author: Steve Barlow

Steve heads up The Change Gym. He is a change readiness specialist. You can contact him at