In this groundbreaking book, Leo Tilman and Charles Jacoby offer the first comprehensive assessment of the fundamental nature of organizational agility and then describe the essential leadership practices for achieving it. They show that agility is far superior to mere speed or adaptability. Pinpointing its distinctive features, they define agility as the ability to detect and assess changes in the competitive environment in real time and then take decisive action. They demonstrate that agility enables an organization to outmaneuver competitors by seizing opportunities; better defending against threats; and acting as a well-orchestrated collective of teams that are empowered to take disciplined initiative.
Combining their personal experience of building and leading agile organizations, Tilman in the realm of business and finance and Jacoby in battlefield command and homeland security, they present a powerful approach to fostering agility up and down an organization, and out to its very edges. They show how to detect opportunities and threats by fighting for risk intelligence; how to pierce through complexity and unleash creativity by nurturing a culture of honesty and trust; how to meld top-down vision and planning with decentralized execution; and how to enhance strategy by recognizing organizations as dynamic portfolios of risk.
In a world where leaders and their teams must brave the unknown and step confidently forward – or risk extinction – Agility provides a vital roadmap for seizing the unprecedented possibilities of the new age and dominating change instead of being dominated by it.
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About the Author
General Charles Jacoby (U.S. Army, Ret.) is a military leader whose career in uniform culminated as four-star Commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command. Having led at all levels in peace and war, Jacoby headed the Federal military response to Hurricane Sandy and commanded the 135,000-member Multinational Corps during Operation Iraqi Freedom (2009-10). Previously, he served as the Director of Strategy, Plans, and Policy for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as U.S. Military Representative to the UN. Jacoby is the Distinguished Chair of the Modern War Institute at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, his undergraduate alma mater. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Michigan, the School of Advanced Military Studies, and the National War College.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Agility Mission 5
Chapter 2 Fog, Friction and the Edge of Chaos 19
Chapter 3 The Essence of Agility 35
Chapter 4 Risk Intelligence 49
Chapter 5 What Business Are We In? 67
Chapter 6 The Risk Levers of Agility 89
Chapter 7 Command, Control and Radical Empowerment 111
Chapter 8 Operationalized Strategic Vision 125
Chapter 9 Decisiveness 141
Chapter 10 Execution Dexterity 161
Chapter 11 Planning for Agility 175