In a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world simple recipes won’t work. Before diving into solutions, Karim Harbott dug into the past of management theories, frameworks, and practices. From Frederick Taylor’s Scientific Management all the way to the Agile Manifesto (2001) and scaling frameworks, it becomes clear that humans cannot be treated like resources anymore, and installing agile tools and practices won’t be enough to stay ahead of the competition.
Harbott illustrates her warnings with numerous examples, from Ford and Kodak to Blockbuster, Netflix, Buurtzorg, and ING Bank. United Kingdom’s leading agile consulting firm, Agile Centre, indeed the one that the author is partnering with, developed a holistic view resulting in The 6 Enablers of Business Agility: How to Thrive in an Uncertain World. Leadership, culture, structure, engagement, and governance as well as ways of working together addressed separately and woven together in the Business Agility Canvas, a spin-off of Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas.
There’s no easy route. For each successful implementation, you may find numerous failures. Over prescriptive frameworks are hindering. Enablers come without guaranteed overnight happy faces. The author helps his readers to get realistic about the need for and ways to reach business agility.
About the author
Karim Harbott works as an agile leadership educator for the Agile Centre in the United Kingdom. He has years of experience as both a software engineer and project manager, as well as twelve years of experience coaching teams as a scrum master, coaching teams-of-teams, and coaching leadership and whole organizations. Over the course of his career, he has advised on some of the most complex and large-scale agile transformations in the world, including one of the biggest agile transformations to date, Barclays. He is one of thirty-two Certified Agile Leadership educators and fifteen Large-Scale Scrum trainers globally.
I received a free advanced review copy from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for my personal, unbiased opinion upon reading.