© 2022, Barry L. Linetsky. All Rights Reserved
Requisite agility is the ability of an organization to develop appropriately dynamic capabilities and adapt its behaviours to create and deliver a successful value proposition within each customer’s contextualized situational need.
It is the ability to organize and utilize available capabilities, infrastructure, and platforms, to customize and deliver an offering for each customer such that it satisfies the customer’s unique desire for the fulfilment of a need. This means the organization as the provider must have the flexibility to adapt the shape or formation of the organization—it’s “geometry”—to address different consumer “contexts-of-use.”
Organisations today need to be able to adapt their offerings—their value propositions—to meet the unique needs and demands of consumers, win their business, and enrich their lives—as measured by a sale. In today’s digital information age, where there is an important digital aspect required as part of the value-proposition, organizations need to form partnerships with others to assemble a viable multi-dimensional offer. In the digital realm, customers expect a customized seamless offering, available on any device, at any time, from any place.
Unlike days gone by, it is exceedingly more difficult for enterprises to do this alone. It requires a network of like-minded providers aligned around the value that customers are seeking.
This new world of digital platforms and specialized relationships to create value is one in which power shifts from the push of the provider to the pull of the user—the customer.
The relationship shifts from being symmetrical—in which the buyer takes what the supplier delivers—to asymmetrical—in which the provider is expected and required to create a unique value proposition—a customized experience—for each user (customization requires variable geometries, where the shape of the value-proposition is variable and customized to the user’s preferences).
This shift, from symmetrical to asymmetrical, from one-size-fits-all to customization, from push to pull—changes the fundamentals of business governance. It also introduces new concepts and terminology appropriate for the changing times.
Organizations are generally structured hierarchically and vertically in silos or stove pipes (north/south). But the value proposition is created horizontally from the edges (east/west). The customer doesn’t care how the organization is structured and doesn’t want to hear why expectations can’t be fulfilled. Unhappy customers will pursue the value they seek elsewhere.
It is this need to satisfy customers based on what they want that results in a value-exchange and creates the profits needed to sustain a business. It is by means of this economic process that entrepreneurs initially decide what products will be produced, but consumers decide what products will be successful, and which businesses will succeed and fail.
What we can see now, more than ever before, is that, in our new world of increased complexity and quickening pace of digital transformation, success requires ongoing innovation across the business value chain. Organizations seek an embedded capability to respond at pace to ongoing dynamic changes across the entire business ecosystem—internal and external.
To survive in business in the emerging digital epoch, every organization needs to be flexible enough to adapt not just to its own strategic requirements, but also to the requirements imposed upon it by its users.
The emerging reality for every business, for every executive, for every manager, for every worker, is to align every aspect of the organization to serve the values of the customer and the job they seek to be done. In other words, every business must acquire, develop, and demonstrate the appropriate dynamic capabilities and adapt its behaviour to create and deliver a successful value proposition within each customer’s contextualized situational need.
This is the meaning of requisite agility.
Note: This concept of requisite agility is adapted from the work of Philip Boxer and his formulations that “within each customer’s context of use, the value proposition needs to have the requisite agility to adapt its dynamic behaviours to the multi-sided nature of the situation.” (Philip Boxer, “Key Dynamics in Complex Systems (SoS) Environments: Foundational Concepts.” A presentation to RequisiteAgility.org.)
Barry Linetsky is CEO of Cognitive Consulting, Inc., and a Partner with The Strategic Planning Group in Toronto, Canada, where he and his colleagues have been helping executives and owners define and align their business purpose with customer values since 1994. Barry is the author of the acclaimed business biography The Business of Walt Disney and the Nine Principles of His Success (2017, Theme Park Press). His most recent books, Understanding and Creating Vision and Mission Statements (2020), Understanding and Creating Strategic Performance Indicators and Business Scenarios (2020), and Understanding and Creating Critical Success Factors (2021), each co-authored with Dobri Stojsic, are available from amazon. Barry’s thought-leadership articles have been published by Ivey Business Journal, Rotman Magazine, Mises Wire, and the Economist Intelligence Unit in conjunction with Harvard Business School. Barry is also a writer, researcher, analyst, photographer, and business strategy enabler. Read his blog and learn more at barrylinetsky.com. Follow him on Twitter @BizPhilospher.