More Business Agility Information

What if we can go Beyond T-Shaped Skills to enhance
Business Agility

Introducing a Tool to help in Self-Reflection about the Skills Development Development using the other shapes and letters such as ΙΤΜΦ

Business Agility Skills Development

Are there Types of Agilities; if so, does Organizational Scale and Structure Explain Why Differences Exist? Agility could be like Physics in that Quantum Physics behaves Differently and its Rules change based on Scale and Size. Agility would therefore be different when applied in a Startup or SMB compared to Agility we encounter in Multinationals.

Not so much About Sizes and Levels, it is more About Types we can Use Jointly based on Context

Borrowing a Great Quote from Evan Leybourn at the Business Agility Institute when he speaks of Agility from the Bottom-Up or Bottom-Down: "You don’t add tea leaves to the top or bottom of a glass and expect to make tea. Tea infuses. Tea saturates. Tea brews. With only a small amount of heat, a small amount of motion, and a small amount of time, the tea leaves spread and change every drop of water into tea."

That is also the case with Agility Learning and Skills Development - it is a continuum. It encompasses personal agility (self), IntrAgility focused on skills required to work and perform within a Business Sub-Function, InterAgility that requires skills to work and perform with numerous Busines Sub-Functions and ExtrAgility that encompasses holistic skills based on Systems Thinking, Sensemaking (Klein et al, 2006). Often some 'extragile' elements, "what we mistakenly think is beyond the scope of business" (Hormaza, 2022), or uniquely in the realm of Leadership and Governance, can unfortunately be overlooked, missing the point by not explicitly elaborating on the opportunities found in the application of well-established Business Practices, such as the triple bottom line (Elkington, 1994, 1997) and emerging global approaches to technology in the service of humanity, such as Marketing 5. 0 (Kotler, 2021), or ensuring better societal outcomes by also considering public good opportunities (McGuinness et al, 2021).

Takeaway: remember that Skills Development may not work as Expected and Holistically unless they are Applied based on Context depending on the appropriate Type - Personal Agility, IntrAgility, InterAgility as well as ExtrAgility Skills.

Agility Skills Illustrated

When we began speaking of T-Shaped Skills it became a great Visual to Illustrate How to Develop General Knowledge as well as a Specialization within Our Departments. See How Other Shapes can also Illustrate the Context-Based Skills required in Business Agility. 

business agility i-shaped skills personal agility
Ι-Shaped Agility

Personal Agility. When we think of I-Shaped Agility Skills we must not forget about the Ancient Greek aphorism "know thyself"! The I,Iota letter in Greek actually can also be understood as 'very small', perhaps this is how you may feel when you begin a new job or in your current role (see illustration above). However, it does not mean that your Skills have to be small to have an impact. Consider it as a reminder that as we engage in Personal Agility we are exploring our Mindset, our Emotional Intelligence, Interpersonal Skills but also seeking Introspection and time to reflect. Agility of this type is about your Way of Working, your Tasks, your Tests and Learning

business agility t-shaped skills intragility
Τ-Shaped Agility

IntrAgility. When we think of T-Shaped Agility Skills, the T, just like Tau letter in Greek, Visually describes the Skills shape defined by General + Specialized. This type of Agility is from the inside out, meaning it is a great start (but, careful not to restrain it to) within a business sub-function and/or Agile certification (e.g., Agile Marketing, Agile HR, Agile Finance) of Business Agility. Some of the limitations observed stem from a context Agility Skills defined by General + Specialized are restrained solely within one Sub-Function of Business. Reminder that this type of Agility can greatly benefit Individuals while also getting them started on exploring the rest of the organization through InterAgility and ExtrAgility.

business agility m-shaped skills interagility
Μ-Shaped Agility

InterAgility. When we think of M-Shaped Agility Skills, the M, just like Mu letter in Greek, Visually describes the Skills shape defined by General + Specialized but extending and interacting with more than one Business Sub-Function.

business agility phi-shaped skills extragility
Φ-Shaped Agility, The Golden Ratio

ExtrAgility. When we think of Phi-Shaped Agility Skills, the Phi letter in Greek is considered the 'Golden Ratio', Visually describes the Skills shape defined to demonstrate a Holistic Agility Perspective, it is all of our own as well as the Collective Skills we can draw from our Internal and External Customers, together with all of the Business Agility Sub-Functions. More importantly, it is recognizing the Impact we can have, not just on Profit but on Profit,People, Planet.

Does that mean we forget about Profit? No! Then, what is Intended by ExtrAgility Golden Ratio?

A Company not focused on Generating Profit will go Bankrupt. When you are not making reasonable profit you can neither help People nor the Planet. The Golden Ratio to consider is, therefore, up to each Organization. To find their Way of Working Towards the Balance and Culture they wish to Create and maintain. But let's not forget that without a unique Profit, People, Planet Golden Ratio it will be harder for the real KPIs and OKRs to Flow throughout the Organization, especially without a Shared Common Understanding.

ExtrAgility also encompasses Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as a Company's Commitment to Society as a Corporate Citizen. Governance is not just for Leadership, it can be facilitated, and often ensured, genuinely ensured by each Employee.

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