Get the key ideas from

The Agile Leader

How to Create an Agile Business in the Digital Age

By Simon Hayward
13-minute read
Audio available
The Agile Leader by Simon Hayward

The Agile Leader (2018) explores how leaders can steer traditional organizations in the fast-paced digital world. These blinks show that agile working can help corporate teams to compete with start-ups, and to keep up with ever-changing customer expectations.

  • Managers hoping to boost their team’s productivity
  • Entrepreneurs looking for a fresh perspective
  • Management consultants seeking new insights

Dr Simon Hayward holds a doctorate in Business Administration from Alliance Manchester Business School. He is also a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a member of the British Academy of Management. Dr Hayward's first book, Connected Leadership: How to Build a More Agile, Customer-Driven Business, was the WHSmith Business Book of the Month in January 2016.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
4,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from

The Agile Leader

How to Create an Agile Business in the Digital Age

By Simon Hayward
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
The Agile Leader by Simon Hayward
Synopsis

The Agile Leader (2018) explores how leaders can steer traditional organizations in the fast-paced digital world. These blinks show that agile working can help corporate teams to compete with start-ups, and to keep up with ever-changing customer expectations.

Key idea 1 of 8

Agile leaders need to foster a sense of disruption and connection.

What comes to mind when you think of agility? Perhaps a sports player streaking across the pitch, switching direction with ease. They are highly trained. Their reactions are lighting-fast. They respond to their opponent’s every move. And they don’t just defend their position, they attack too – with incredible precision.

There’s a lot that today’s business leaders can learn from the agile athlete. As the sports player reacts to a shifting reality on the pitch, so the leader must respond to accelerating change in his industry. As the sportsman must have the strength to finely coordinate his entire body, so the leader must transform his whole organization, not just one part of it.

The key message here is: Agile leaders need to foster a sense of disruption and connection.

If you’re a business leader In our digital world, agility is crucial for you. This is because we’re now operating in what is known as a VUCA world. VUCA stands for volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. This world is never static – it’s always changing. Just think about all the internet-connected devices we have in our homes and offices. There are around 30 billion of them around the world. A few years ago most people couldn’t even imagine how vast this “internet of things” would become.

To survive in this new world, leaders must stay connected – both to their customers, and to the social trends which drive those customers’ needs and expectations.

Companies which can build this connection thrive. Take a look at traditional retailers that have paid attention to changing consumer trends. These companies have introduced online shopping with same-day delivery. Some offer break-through interfaces such as software which lets customers virtually try on clothes before purchasing. These retailers have stayed relevant and profitable, and have successfully moved to a digital business model.

But in our VUCA world, business leaders can’t simply react to change – they need to drive it as well.

This is disruption. It happens when companies and leaders rip up the rulebook. The risks are big for these pioneering leaders, but so are the rewards. Just consider Uber’s seismic shift of the global taxi industry. Its innovative app transformed and disrupted city travel.

The most agile companies excel at both disruption and connection. Take Airbnb, the online marketplace for travel accommodation. Not only has this digital start-up permanently disrupted the hotel industry, but it’s achieved this by building a massive online community of hosts and travelers. This community spans nearly 200 countries. Think about this geographical spread. Doesn’t it sound like the very definition of connection?

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Key ideas in this title

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.