Agus Setiawan

PhD candidate and result-oriented Director with 25 years experience with involvement in all levels of Business Strategy, Sales and Marketing, Managing Project and Product Development. Aside of managing a company, he is also the best corporate trainer and public speaker in seminar and conference.

How To Build Agile Business In Digital Transformation Era

Digital transformation integrates digital technology into all areas of a business, resulting fundamental changes on how businesses operate and how they deliver value. One way to deliver successful digital transformation in business is by applying agility approach in its process. In this case, company could utilize the three foundational elements of organizational agility: Velocity, Focus, and Flexibility.

Velocity is the ability to move faster from one state to another (manoeuvrability). Velocity could be built in business through the following ways: First, encourage continuous innovation. Next, allow emergence, start small, deploy, test, learn, and develop system; considering a successful complex system emerge from a simple system that has been improved. Then, stop waterfall development since it does not work in a rapidly changing external environment. After that, create a culture where everyone could embrace failures, encourage growth mindset, use design thinking, agile method, and lean methods.

"Embrace failure" is a cliché. Can you say it and then act like you mean it in your company?

Focus in digital transformation means company has an enabling adaptive, agile strategy that has strong links to execution with a clear vision and purpose. To drive focus and create a momentum, company shall document and communicate focus; create a clarity of business goals and continuously communicate. Then, think in long-term; build strategy for the future and ensure the strategy is an ever-evolving algorithm.

Still discussing how to drive focus, company shall also persistent on its vision, yet flexible on details. Company should be customer-centric; let customers need build the business process. Then, create a good prioritization of resources as the key to success, use discovery driven planning, data-driven decision making, and technology as an enabler, as well as focus on actionable early stage metrics; ones that show value before revenue.

"It takes drive and focus to move from potential to reality." -Amy Leigh Mercree

In digital transformation era, enable flexibility in business is very important. Flexibility create business to be adaptable and easily modified to respond altered circumstances. Company could implement flexibility in business by organizing around continuous experimentation and opportunity, combine vertical expertise with a small team from multi-disciplinary, change job design to encourage self-learning, enable small teams, build teams on skills; not functions, create flatter structures, own a Digitally Savvy Board, and enable the right culture and psychological safety in the workplace.

"Stubborn on Vision; Flexible on Details." – Jeff Bezos, CEO of

REFERENCE: Perkin, N., & Abraham, P. (2017). Building the agile business through digital transformation. Kogan Page Publishers.

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