Whereas agile is the buzz word of today’s software development, the real shift to agility beyond a single IT team, department or start-up, still to be embedded and practiced more. The Agility Shift by Pamela Meyer brings together experiences from very different fields, from improvisation theater, Toastmaster speakers to 3M, and UPS. Organizations nowadays are confronting volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCLA). Companies that are able to turn challenges into opportunities have a competitive advantage, as shown by the different reactions and outcomes of Ericsson and Nokia to a same fire at a supplier’s facility.
Everyone agrees that there is real, tangible value in being more agile. No one argues the actions the pilot of US Airways 1549 took to safely land his passenger jet on the Hudson river, bypassing discussing air traffic control officials. Meyer draws from thinkers like Simon Sinek (Start with Why), J.R. Galbraith (there is no best way to organize), Claudio Ciborra (locating the dynamic present between panic and boredom), realistic optimism, and presents the 3 Cs of Agility Shift: confidence, competence and capacity. The book’s a great treasure for leaders seeking Make Shift Practices to acquire the right people, empower and coach along the way. There’s a lot of time spent on new ways to learn and practice. Despite most leader’s approaches, “Agility is not simply accelerated planning.” Forget the annual strategic planning. The agility shift embraces the creative tension between planning and preparing. The relational web is a great tool to identify relevant, responsive, resilient, resourceful and reflective actions to put into practice tomorrow. Meyer has lots of references, games and examples to help you out.
About the author
Pamela Meyer, Ph.D. is the President of Meyer Creativity Associates where she works with organizations internationally who want to be more innovative and agile. Meyer is the author of three books on innovation, learning and change, includingFrom Workspace to Playspace: Innovating, Learning and Changing Through Dynamic Engagement (Jossey-Bass, 2010). In addition to her speaking and consulting practice, Pamela teaches courses in business creativity, organizational change, and adult learning at DePaul University, School for New Learning in Chicago, where she is also the Director of the Center to Advance Education for Adults.