The five trademarks of agile organizations

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A few facts:

  • Fewer than 10 percent of the nonfinancial S&P 500 companies in 1983 were still in the S&P 500 in 2013.
  • According to our research, companies today adapt their strategy and their structure with greater frequency than in the past. 82 percent of companies went through a redesign in the last 3 years.
  • Most of these redesign efforts fail – only 23 percent were implemented successfully.
  • Research shows that agile organizations have a 70 percent chance of being in the top quartile of organizational health, the best indicator of long-term performance

When pressure is applied, the agile organization reacts by being more than just robust – performance actually improves. Moreover, such companies simultaneously achieve higher revenue growth, lower costs, and a more engaged workforce.

The five trademarks of agile organizations


Some organizations are born agile, some achieve agility, and some have agility forced upon them. In our work with agility pioneers, we have observed four distinct stages to make the five trademarks of agility a reality in an organization:

  1. An agile foundation
  2. Agile experimentation
  3. Agile scale-up
  4. Continuous evolution.