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Faculty & Research


Escaping the “S-Curve” – is the “Agile” Organization the Answer?

Working Paper
Once successful, most companies fall victim to strategic rigidity. The more the business model is attuned to the existing environment, the harder it is to reform it when conditions change. In response to this renewal challenge, the “agile organization” has been hailed as a way to keep innovating and adapting, allowing firms to evolve and grow, making the “S-curve” of maturity obsolete and building strong adaptive capabilities to foster continuous renewal. The purpose of this paper is to better understand the strategic role of agility in the life-cycle of a business. The authors explain what an agile organization is, the limits of its applicability (boundary conditions), the nature of the output and innovation it produces and the required preconditions to make it effective. This allows them to assess its potential to deal with the inflection point in the maturity curve and rekindle growth.

Emeritus Professor of Strategic Management

Professor of Economics