Agility redfined ways to be agile-anil bakshi


Published on

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Agility redfined ways to be agile-anil bakshi

  1. 1. “Agility Redefined – Ways to be Agile” Anil Bakshi General Manager & Country Head – India CollabNet Inc.
  2. 2. Summary• Agility•What is “Agile Absorption”•Ways to be Agile•Agile Absorption – Strike the right balance•10 ways to build absorption•Maintaining a culture of Agility•Q & A
  3. 3.
  4. 4. AgilityA classic boxing match offers useful lessons for seizingopportunities at the right time. True champions have thecapacity for both agility & absorption.Muhammad Ali could spot a fleeting opportunity – thehint of a sagging glove or an upward chin – and shootoff a well placed blow before the moment passed.
  5. 5. AgilityAgility – Float like a Butterfly, Sting like a BeeClassic boxing match between M. Ali & George Foreman to illustrate 2fundamental approaches:-Agile companies (like Alis) quickly spot & exploit emerging businessopportunities whereas Absorptive firms (The Foremans) have the strength &stamina to weather the market shifts.Ali - Alert & nimbleForeman – Lacked Ali’s agility, but because of his sheer bulk, physical strength& toughness, could absorb all the punishment, all the while waiting for his ownopportunity.
  6. 6. Agility Absorption
  7. 7. Agile AbsorptionFirms actually need to apply both approaches, at just the right times during thelife cycle of the organization. The companies that display such “AgileAbsorption” don’t just thrive during unstable times, they emerge true marketleaders.So what is “Agile absorption” ? - Ability to consistently identify & seizeopportunities while retaining the structural characteristics to weather changes.“Organizational agility is a company’s ability to consistentlyidentify & capture business opportunities more quickly than itsrivals do”….
  8. 8. Ways to be AgileOrganizations can achieve agility in three distinct ways.1. Operational Agility2. Portfolio Agility3. Strategic Agility
  9. 9. Ways to be AgileOperational AgilityWithin a focused business model, consistently identify & seize opportunitiesmore quickly than rivals do…Examples are : Toyota, TescoMust Haves :Shared real time market data that is reliableSmall number of corporate priorities to focus effortsClear performance goals (Teams & Individuals)Mechanism to hold people accountable & to reward them.Leaders need to : have sense of urgency, focus on critical objectives, flow ofinformation, recruit entrepreneurial staff….
  10. 10. Ways to be AgilePortfolio AgilityQuickly shift resources out of less performing businesses and into moreattractive opportunities…Examples are : GE, Samsung, Proctor & GambleMust Haves :A diversified portfolio of independent unitsA cadre of General Managers who can be transferred across unitsCentral corporate control over key resources (talent, cash)Structured processes for decreasing investments or selling off units.Leaders need to : Base decisions on rational rather than emotional criteria,Invest heavily in promising opportunities….
  11. 11. Ways to be AgileStrategic AgilityIdentify and seize game-changing opportunities when they arise…Examples are : Emirates Airlines, OracleMust Haves :A strong balance sheetA governance structure that permit to seize opportunitiesLong term perspective from owners & executivesLeaders need to : Mitigate downside risk, Wait for the rightopportunities, maintain the owners’ confidence….
  12. 12. AbsorptionAbsorption : Take a licking & keep on TickingFirms can build absorption in several ways. Levers include size,diversification & war chest of cash, low fixed costs & powerful patron canbuffer a firm against environmental changes.Emirates - structural strength others lacked, diversified its profitabilityacross regions & cargo, a large pool of cash & low fixed cost.Golden opportunities are not evenly spaced over time, absorptivecapabilities can keep the company in the game until its big chance emerges.Look at Apple … its iPod.Absorption allows companies to outlast rivals in wars of attrition…. 12
  13. 13. Agile Absorption : Strike the Right BalanceAbsorption & Agility are not stark alternatives…Getting the mix right instead of relying heavily on one or theother, increases the effectiveness.Absorption is a store of energy for hard times – much like fat onthe human body. Low fixed costs for example is an outstandingsource of absorption. 13
  14. 14. 10 Ways to build Absorption1. Low Fixed Costs (To weather price war, declining demand)2. War Chest of Cash (Against unexpected opportunities & threats)3. Diversified Cash Flow (Diverse Units)4. Size (Vast size can enable downsizing)5. Tangible Resources (Real estate, Raw materials)6. Intangible Resources (Brand, Expertise, Technologies)7. Customer Lock-in (Switching cost can prevent customers)8. Protected Core Market (To provide safe stream of cash)9. Power Patron (Government, Investor, Regulator)10. Staff (Extra staff can be shed at hard times) 14
  15. 15. Is your business a Champ or a Chump?Many Managers believe the corporate bulk is arch enemy ofagility. But it is not size per se that kills agility; it is “complexity”.Alternative approach to combining scale & agility – breaking alarge company into “multiple” independent profit & loss units.Firms that excel in this are : GE, Johnson & Johnson.. 15
  16. 16. Maintaining a culture of AgilityDuring the start-up phase, firms generally are agile butshort on absorption. As firms enter corporateadolescence, they maintain some agility but alsoaccumulate absorption as they launch new products,expand, bolster brand value. Over time absorptionstabilizes while agility deteriorates. 16
  17. 17. Maintaining a culture of AgilityWhile Absorption is not the sole domain of establishedenterprises defending their turf nor the later of nimblestart-ups looking at new ways to grow.Managers should view agility & absorption ascomplements with the balance shifting ascircumstances change…. 17
  18. 18. Maintaining a culture of AgilityOther Points :Company’s absorptive strength can erode the culture of agilitySize often engenders bureaucracy & silos.Managers who want to maintain culture of agility need to maintain focus onhandful of values they deem critical to agility.Transparency. 18
  19. 19. 19
  20. 20. ConclusionThe rise & fall of Ali illustrates a universal dynamic.As a champion Ali combined Agility & Absorption that made him the“greatest of all times”. But overtime, agility seeped from his limbs & by hisfinal fights Ali could do little more than absorb punishment.Many organizations follow a similar act.Their early agility wins them the success – size, cash & a secure position.Overtime bureaucracy, political infighting, complacency & arrogance takesover….When the context shifts – the bloated organization just lumbers.GM that once appeared invincible…There fore “Understanding the sources of Agility & Absorption” & balancingthem overtime is the “Key to success” 20
  21. 21. THANK YOU