Phil Abernathy on KPI Madness and Maze Runners

Phil Abernathy is an Agile Leadership Coach as well as the founder and CEO of Purple Candor. His talk at the first-ever Business Agility 2017 conference is called “Structuring Your Business for Agility”. Phil walks us through the maze of systemic organizational structures and processes of today’s businesses. Seeing IT’s successes with Agile, business and leadership are pulling it in and layering it on existing structures without realizing that they are setting themselves up to fail. With the KPI madness that gave rise to heads of innovation and service, Phil imagines “we will have a head of Business Agility”. And at the bottom of all these heads is a single person, a Bob or Mary, who is completely lost. In this maze there are maze runners: individuals who know the bureaucracy and processes so well, they “know how to chase the work through the maze to get it done”. Phil commiserates that “we still stick with the manufacturing, industrial era models to run in the knowledge-based economy” – but change is happening. With Agile, leaders are finally able to see the maze for what it is and, Phil believes, we’re all in a good place to do something about it.

SolutionsIQ Chief Technical Officer Evan Campbell hosts at the inaugural Business Agility 2017 in New York City.