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Book Review: The Age of Agile by Stephen Denning

February 4, 2021

How Smart Companies Are Transforming the Way Work Gets Done

By Steve Denning

The book describes the three laws of an agile organisation.

  1. Small teams. “The law of the small it is that big and difficult problems should be disaggregated into small batches and performed by small cross functional teams working iteratively in short cycles and in a state of flow, with fast feedback from customers and end users.”
  2. Customer focus. Building on the insight from Drucker, “there is only one valid definition of business purpose to create a customer
  3. Network. There’s a growing focus on a “team of teams” or “network” comprising small groups, having an action orientation and a compelling shared goal.

It also challenges the the old order of doing things.

  1. Shareholder value as a goal should be replaced by consumer focus.
  2. Share buy backs should be reduced as a flagrant attempt to manipulate share prices.
  3. Strategy teaching at business schools should move away from Porter’s 5 Forces to Drucker’s focus on customer.

Our musings

We already focus on helping teams define success. We also believe that can organisations can create a “network effect” by having many teams using CoachBot. Cross functional teams can develop mission driven approaches together and adding the voice of the customer into the team agenda is an interesting prospect. It’s a little like the challenge of aligning team goals and organisation goals, a light nudge is required to develop alignment to organisation and customer.

Implication for Readers

Is agility a buzzword at your workplace? If so we’d be delighted to hear about the initiatives that you have underway. One of the key issues that is highlighted in the book is the gap between agile teams and the way senior manager operate, is this an issue at your organisation?




Find out more about Saberr at www.saberr.com

Get in touch hq@saberr.com or @saberr

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