Discovering Requisite Agility: An Integrated Approach to Value Creation in a VUCA World | Part 5 | The Tempo Dance

© 2022, Barry L. Linetsky. All Rights Reserved

In every economic exchange there is a supply side and a demand side—there is production of something that will only be ascribed value and acquired for use if it is perceived by a consumer as the best available solution to resolve their specific contextualized problem. This raises a challenge that both purchasers and providers face and is systemic to the evolution of the hyper-complexity of market economies we rely upon to maintain and enhance the quality of our lives.

The challenge, which RA recognizes and draws attention to, is that embedded in every supply-side and demand-side relationship, someone is doing something for someone within a particular (situated) context and both the entire context and the context of the participants involved are changing at a tempo particular to that relation within that context.

A problem arises when the tempo of consumer demand outpaces the ability of the provider to match that pace, thereby causing the provider to lose its favoured advantage and the consumer to seek more appropriate alternatives from more agile and adaptive competitors that can better address the consumer’s desires. The provider is constantly on trial to adapt and deliver the value sought by the consuming solution-seeker—to facilitate the consumers’ value proposition. (In a 2009 Newsweek interview, amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stated about the then new Kindle electronic book reader: “We start with the customer and we work backward. We learn whatever skills we need to service the customer. We build whatever technology we need to service the customer.” See Newsweek, Dec. 20, 2009, “Why Bezos was Surprised by the Kindle’s Success.”

It is important to recognize that the value proposition demanded or sought by the consumer is often very different from the value proposition being created and sold by the provider. As Peter Drucker famously observed, “The customer rarely buys what the business thinks it sells them.”

And for innovators there is the additional that consumers themselves are often unaware that they desire a new product or solution. Often they don’t perceive the problem or the space to introduce something completely different and new, and therefore fail to recognize the solution, that visionary leaders seek to introduce.

The important economic and social issues pertaining to consumer sovereignty, wealth creation, and human flourishing and well-being are at the core of the challenge that Requisite Agility is attempting to address, which begins with the central proposition that the tempo of new and unanticipated forms of customer demand is accelerating relative to the tempos and capabilities of autonomous supply-partner acquisition and integration to respond to the dynamic nature and intensification of user demand itself (see Philip Boxer, “The Three Agilities” and “Type III Agility,” 2006). Because of this, organizations have no choice but to transform and modify their frames of reference and workplace cultures to provide the requisite agility to continuously adapt to dynamic changes throughout their value creation and delivery networks, both in-house and provided through coordinated vendor/partner relationships. 

Next: Part 6 – Seeking a Requisite Agility Paradigm

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 Follow him on Twitter @BizPhilospher.

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