Sunday, March 9, 2008

Defining Agility

I noticed recently this blog posting:;1786870611

Agility means something different for everyone. Of course it does, all conceptual properties of people (and companies) mean different things to everyone. Because companies are a PowerSet in the mathematical sense of people, plus accumulated culture, norms, processes and expectations, they are in fact more complicated, nuanced, and fickel than (most) people.

So with that in mind, I tried to come up with a definition of Agility that would apply to firms, companies, corporations, and instituitions, in a way that reflects that need for differences. Organizations have different starting points, different goals, different means of achieving goals and competition for attention, recognition, and success in their individual marketplaces.

This is not heavily researched at all, but here it goes

Reaching Agility:
An orchestrated state of process-enabled knowledge management for achieving (near) optimal decisions, actions, outcomes according to the strategic goals of the organization.

Having Agility:
The ability of an organization to navigate external marketplace and environmental changes while improving its overall position relative to its strategic goals.

Organizations strive for "reaching higher levels of Agility" by invoking very different means from technology, tools, powerpoint slides, approval processes, decentralization of decisions, centralization of data, databases, knowledge management, business intelligence and the rest of all the stuff.

Note that Alignment in general should help organizations acheive Agility. However, if you have Agility, you may not want to mess with Alignment. Alignment is a means to end; not a goal unto itself.