5 Types of Agility (Prasad)

Organizational Agility
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Gandhi Heryanto
Management Consultant, Indonesia

5 Types of Agility (Prasad)

The concept of strategy now changes from being plans of actions for the future to developing capabilities that can allow us to handle different situations that may evolve. If you don't have an agile approach, you die; many companies have folded when they didn’t have agility.

According to Prasad in the current age, companies have to be "nimble". Nimble means you must have the ability to think and act differently from your historic, pre-conditioned ways. Being nimble requires having five types of agility:
1. ANALYTICAL AGILITY is being able to change modes of analysis. You’re not stuck with one approach to solving problems; you can have multiple approaches.
2. OPERATIONAL AGILITY. If something fails, could we find another way of doing the same stuff?
3. INVENTIVE AGILITY is the ability to solve problems in new ways or find new solutions and create new products. It drives innovation and product development.
4. COMMUNICATIVE AGILITY is all about persuasion. This is where either the marketing function of a company or the persuasive leadership of an individual comes in.
5. VISIONARY AGILITY recognizes the long-term impact of what you’re doing now. It considers the ethical implications beyond the bottom line, beyond selfishness.

Note that because we can distinguish 5 types of agility, this means that agility includes a lot more than just reacting quickly (traditional view).

How do Prasad's five agilities work together?
Companies need to look at the world outside and the way it's evolving and ask, “Which of these five agilities do we need?” The analogy Prasad uses comes from art. If you think of the four agilities — analytical, operational, inventive, and communicative — as primary colors, the response to any situation is a combination of those. You can combine them just like you combine the primary colors to get any color. But you need the visionary as a medium to mix those colors, because otherwise you will be making terribly reactive responses that may hurt you in the long term.

Sources:
Baba Prasad, "Nimble: Make Yourself and Your Company Resilient in the Age of Constant Change", TarcherPerigee (2018)
Five Ways Companies Can Be More Nimble, Knowledge@Wharton, 2018

 

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