“It’s not the strongest who survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin. The big and powerful vs. the small and agile – what we know about dinosaurs rings true in modern business agility.
Remember dinosaurs when you were a kid? You were so fascinated by them that you memorized the names of the meanest and ugliest lizards to ever roam the planet. Impressing your parents with your enormous knowledge of extinct reptiles as they ponder the fine line between childhood pastime and signs of a future serial killer… Survival of the fittest, in the era of the enterprise, uncovers a new definition of what is ‘fit.’
Agility = Survival
It’s funny that the small, agile creatures of the Jurassic period are the survivors with relatives still gracing our ecosystem hundreds of millions of years later. The small and medium businesses of today have a much easier time adopting agile practices as well. In fact, if it wasn’t for this crazy idea of “too big to fail” – we may have witnessed yet another mass extinction of corporate proportion in 2009.
Large corporations face large obstacles as they transform their legacy IT systems into future proof, integrated solutions. Even so, business agility is scalable. Agile applications provide an unparalleled return on investment because they can be implemented and modified extremely quickly. And most importantly, they are made to stand the test of time.
I suppose the moral of this story is that business agility can be considered a corporate value that needs to be implemented when a business is small. The reason giant companies are having a difficult time staying agile is because their environment, like the dinosaurs, just got a whole lot different. We’re in a technological age of fiber optics and cloud computing – forces that can shadow the cold blooded creatures of our own time if they don’t sharpen up.
Sure, the media loves to talk about the big guys and their billion dollar assets, sharp teeth and heightened sense of well, bureaucracy– but by now you should realize that technology is giving companies the upper hand in making decisions faster, implementing strategy more efficiently, and surviving meteorological catastrophe (so to speak).