Other parts of this series:
- Talking Agility: episode one
- Talking Agility: Vision and Leadership
- Talking Agility: Rewiring for Agility
- Talking Agility: the paradox of true agility with Michael Bazigos
- Talking Agility, Episode Five: The journey from agile in IT to enterprise agility
- Talking Agility, Episode 6: The path to the customer
- Talking Agility, Episode 7: Developing mental agility
- Talking Agility, Episode 8: Agility for new entrants with Starling Bank
- Talking Agility, Episode 9: Building an adaptive, reskilled workforce with Nicholas Whittall & Andrew Woolf
- Talking Agility, Episode 10: Agility at scale with ING’s Subhash Chandra Jose
- Talking Agility, Episode 11: Growing your product owner with John Macleod
Accenture’s new podcast on enterprise agility
With two episodes live and our third one on the way, we are in full production mode and continuing to dig deep into the subject of enterprise agility. I hope you’ve enjoyed the episodes thus far.
In the last episode of Talking Agility, we explored enterprise agility with the Global Lead of Accenture Talent & Organization, Eva Sage-Gavin. Eva’s insights were fascinating and we have received some great feedback from listeners. They appreciated her perspective on how organizations can shift their leadership mindsets, talent and cultures, and harness the power of digital technologies to innovate and transform their businesses. I encourage you to take a listen for yourself and reach out if you have any comments or thoughts—your feedback is truly valuable!
With the idea of transformation top of mind, I was joined by Accenture’s Andy Young to talk about how organizations can use enterprise agility to rewire their business—how it actually works and what some of the key aspects of transformation are in relation to agility. To get started, I asked him to explain how enterprise agility can help reshape, or rewire, a business. Andy said:
“This is really about applying agile change to specific change initiatives, specific programs, specific product areas within technology,” he explained. “We believe the fundamental benefits of agility—both at the strategic and financial level—you can only really get to those when you rewire the whole business, over time, towards agility.”
In Andy’s view, enterprise agility is an ongoing process, and the organizations that are wired toward change are the ones that will be able to adapt quickly to opportunities in the marketplace, and to unforeseen disruption in the industry.
“Those organizations are the ones that are going to survive and thrive in the new world we’re in,” he said. “They’re designed to adapt, designed to evolve over time. They’re much like living organisms rather than bureaucracies.”
But how can organizations rewire? What aspects should a business look at if it wants to become agile? These were questions I asked of Andy in our conversation, and while there were several aspects that arose, a couple of fundamental ideas stood out for me.
The first was something that Andy identified early: the need to rethink risk and governance within an organization. In his experience, organizations do well when they have honest conversations about risk and how decisions are made in relation to it. The second thing he touched on was organizational structure, which included the workforce, the customer end-to-end experience and, of course, the technology.
“When we talk about rewiring the business,
we mean pretty much every aspect of the business.” – Andy Young
I really enjoy talking with Andy about enterprise agility. His ability to speak clearly about such a complex subject is refreshing and informative. Our conversation touched on a lot of examples of how agility and rewiring an organization to be more agile can have benefits, but I think my favorite example of this was his story about State Bank in India. Through leadership and a willingness to really embrace change—and in the face of some stiff resistance— State Bank was able to turn itself into a truly agile, modern organization. It significantly digitized the branch environment in one of the biggest retail banks in the world, tapping into a new generation of consumers using the principles of enterprise agility.
“It’s a great story,” said Andy.
We covered a lot of ground in our conversation, and I suspect we’ll be hearing from Andy again. It was a pleasure to connect with him. I encourage you to listen to the podcast for even more insights and approaches to rewiring your business for agility.
There is a new episode of Talking Agility every two weeks; you subscribe on iTunes or Soundcloud. We’ve also created a website to serve as a hub for all things Talking Agility, where you can reach us directly and learn more about our guests to further engage with enterprise agility. If you have comments, questions or suggestions for future shows, we encourage you to get in touch.
I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read this post, and I look forward to hearing from you—in the spirit of agile, we are looking to improve constantly! Please contact me on Twitter, LinkedIn, or through the Podcast website—I’d love to hear from you!