Become a Disruptive Innovation Network

The Startup at Scale

Reduced to its barest essence, enterprise agility is really about mastering innovation at scale. Most organizations are conservative rather than innovative, and their respective establishments can be quite reactionary when faced with change. A strategy must therefore be identified, sanctioned, and put in place to achieve enterprise transformation. The strategy must leverage the innovation potential that lies within the organization so that disruption is managed productively, and not feared and retreated from, as though it were a threat. All of the varied parts of an enterprise, which when brought together generate value, have a role to play in the innovation process. In other words the organization must become a disruptive innovation network, an integrated enterprise which can identify, shape, and harvest new opportunities in a systemic and collaborative fashion*. To put it more succinctly, it must become a "startup at scale". If an organization can master this agility, then it will be able to perform as nimbly as any small startup, whilst exploiting the resources and scaled benefits that only a larger and shared venture can bring.

Now, if an agile transformation is to succeed, the associated patterns and practices must be implemented in a managed fashion. We need to get our ducks in a row. There are many things that need doing, many workflows that will need improving and new teams that must be formed, many new skills to be learned and old assumptions challenged, and many forms of waste that will need to be found and eliminated. It's no use setting about this change in a haphazard way, trying to do everything at once in the hope that some of it will stick. This is where a transformation framework comes in. A framework will help us to manage innovation at all organizational levels, from portfolio management to technical implementation and support, and across multiple value streams. We will seek empirical evidence of improvement, not the submission of reports or promissory notes. Innovation accepts no substitute for actual delivery. The framework must therefore help us to focus on the coaching and empowerment of agile delivery teams.

*This has been referred to as The Third Agile Law.

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