The Agility Factor: Building Adaptable Organizations for Superior Performance

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A research-based approach to achieving long-term profitability in business

What does it take to guarantee success and profitability over time? Authors Christopher G. Worley, a senior research scientist, Thomas D. Williams, an executive advisor, and Edward E. Lawler III, one of the country's leading management experts, set out to find the answer. In The Agility Factor: Building Adaptable Organizations for Superior Performance the authors reveal the factors that drive long-term profitability based on the practices of successful companies that have consistently outperformed their peers. Of the 234 large companies across 18 industries that were studied, there were few companies that delivered sustained performance across the board. The authors found that across industries, the most successful companies were not the "usual suspects" found in the media, but companies who possessed a quiet agility that allowed them to quickly perceive and respond to changes so that they could continue to grow. Agility gives organizations the ability to adapt to fluctuations in the environment, test possible responses, and implement changes quickly. This book offers specific, research-based case studies to help organizational leaders use agility to achieve sustained profitability and performance while also becoming more adaptable to a changing marketplace.

For executives, leaders, consultants, board members and all those responsible for the long-term health of organizations, this insightful guide outlines:

  • The components of agility for business organizations
  • How to successfully build agility within an organization
  • How agility has its foundation in good management practices
  • How to use agility to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace
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About the author

Christopher G. Worley is Senior Research Scientist at the University of Southern California’s Center for Effective Organizations. He is also professor of management at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management.

Thomas Williams is a Senior Executive Advisor at Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company) where he consults to large global companies on issues of strategy, organization, and management systems.

Edward E. Lawler III is Director of the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California and Distinguished Professor of Management and Organization in the USC Marshall School of Business.

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Additional Information

Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Jul 22, 2014
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9781118821411
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Management
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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In-depth agility evaluation for a more efficient response to change

Assessing Organization Agility provides a clear, concise roadmap to improved implementation of change. Written by two organizational researchers at USC's Center for Effective Organizations and a management consultant with Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company), this book provides the means for assessing an organization's agility and formulating an improvement plan. Beginning with a discussion about the meaning of "agility," the authors enumerate the various contributing factors that affect how quickly an organization responds to change, and the efficiency of the response. An agility survey shows readers how their own organization compares in terms of both perception and implementation, allowing the formulation of an "Agility Profile" that can point out strengths while highlighting areas in need of improvement. Case studies demonstrate the real-world impact of effective agility strategy, and example scenarios illustrate improved responses by each agility "type."

Eighty percent of large-scale organizations fail to meet their objectives, and poor agility is often to blame. Organizations respond to changes in the marketplace, economy, and society by implementing changes in their processes and procedures, but planning and implementing change takes time. During that time, the context of the initial decision frequently evolves, leaving the organization one step behind. Agility is the ability to quickly implement change without sacrificing strategy, and Assessing Organization Agility helps readers to:

Discover the organizational/operational factors that contribute to agility Assess current agility from all perspectives, highlighting areas for improvement Implement processes and procedures that streamline change events Maintain forward trajectory with adjustments to strategy and implementation

The current pace of technical, competitive, and environmental change is faster than ever before, and response requirements are far more complex and sophisticated. In this turbulent environment, agility can mean the difference between success and stagnation. Assessing Organization Agility asks the questions and provides the answers that lead to better organizational reflex and more effective response.

HR Professional's guide to creating a strategically sustainable organization

Employees are central to creating sustainable organizations, yet they are left on the sidelines in most sustainability initiatives along with the HR professionals who should be helping to engage and energize them. This book shows business leaders and HR professionals how to: motivate employees to create economic, environmental and social value; facilitate necessary culture, strategic and organizational change; embed sustainability into the employee lifecycle; and strengthen existing capabilities and develop new ones necessary to support the transformation to sustainability.

Talent, Transformation, and the Triple Bottom Line also demonstrates how leading companies are using sustainability to strengthen core HR functions: to win the war for talent, to motivate and empower employees, to increase productivity, and to enliven traditional HR-related efforts such as diversity, health and wellness, community involvement and volunteerism. In combination, these powerful benefits can help drive business growth, performance, and results.

The book offers strategies, policies, tools and specific action steps that business leaders and HR professionals can use to get into the sustainability game or enhance their efforts dramatically Andrew Savitz is an expert in sustainability and has worked extensively with many organizations on sustainability strategy and implementation; he and Karl Weber wrote The Triple Bottom Line, one of the most successful books in the field Published in partnership with SHRM and with the cooperation of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development Forward by Edward Lawler III

This book fills a gaping hole in both the HR and sustainability literature by educating HR professionals about sustainability, sustainability professionals about HR, and business leaders about how to marry the two to accelerate progress on both fronts.

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