A Model for Digital Transformation – Fast, Focused, Flexible

By September 12, 2017 AgileBusiness, Culture, Strategy

We’ve made a short film that reflects the fact that our book, Building the Agile Business, is structured around three key elements that we believe critical for digital transformation and organisational agility: Fast, Focused and Flexible. Represented as a formula, these components are counterbalanced by corporate, cultural and system inertia:


This we define as a heightened pace and progression through continuous experimentation, a culture that supports processes such as Agile, Lean and Design Thinking, overcomes needless risk-aversion and enables exhaustive customer-centric innovation through the rapid origination, validation and commercialisation of ideas. But beyond this need, it captures the need to challenge the habits that over time make large businesses slow by design. The key point here is that it’s not simply about velocity, but actually more about manoeuvrability and responsiveness.


This is about understanding what it truly means to be a customer-centric business, and then building organisational momentum through an enabling, agile and adaptive strategy with strong links to execution. We talk not only about the role of a clear vision and purpose in providing direction and removing unnecessary decision-drag, but also about why a curious, outwardly-looking perspective is key to maintaining the momentum. We need to challenge the hubris that brings arrogance with scale. We need to challenge the thinking that seeks to apply old thinking to new and transformational technologies. We need to be data-informed and not just data-driven,


If digital transformation is 10% technology and 90% people (despite many seeing it as the other way round), we need to stop treating employee experience as the poor relation. The imperative becomes to create the culture, environment and structures to move fast: to structure for continuous innovation; to bring heightened fluidity to resourcing; to empower small, multidisciplinary teams to generate transformational ideas; to enable greater agility in decision-making and governance; to support a productive, collaborative culture characterised by autonomy, mastery and purpose.

Each of these elements is critical since they are mutually enhancing, but cannot work without the others:

With any transformation programme it is essential that we take a holistic approach to change. That’s why we wrote the book – to provide the ‘how’ of digital transformation and not just the ‘why’.

Neil Perkin

Author Neil Perkin

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