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Becoming Agile: How the SEAM Approach to Management Builds Adaptability

Becoming Agile: How the SEAM Approach to Management Builds Adaptability




An in-depth example of The Agility Factor in action

Becoming Agile: How the SEAM Approach to Management Builds Adaptability illustrates the process of becoming an agile organization. Reflecting the principles presented in The Agility Factor, readers are taken on a real-world journey of transformation and change. This short-format case study of the French company Brioche Pasquier highlights how one organization successfully implemented the principles of agility using the socio-economic approach to management, detailing each step of the process and describing how every decision brought the goal closer within reach. Readers get inside the heads of decision makers to gain insight into how tough decisions were made, how new, important, and flexible management tools were implemented, and how the necessary changes ultimately benefitted both the organization and the people who made it work. From overarching policy to day-to-day procedure, the story provides a clear example of how an agile organization is developed, giving readers a foundation upon which to implement similar changes in their own organization.

Smart companies understand the importance of agility, but identifying where and how to initiate those first steps often leads to paralysis by analysis. This case study allows readers to learn from an organization that got through the inertia and put the principles of agility into action, with incredible results.

  • Understand how the principles of agility can be implemented using a specific intervention strategy
  • Tailor those principles to suit any organization
  • Calculate and convert the "hidden costs" of traditional organizational design into flexible, value added activities
  • Formulate and execute an actionable agility strategy

Big changes require a deep understanding of the problem at hand, and a viable plan for steering the organization in a better direction. By seeing how it's been done before, organizations can take a proven approach and tailor it to their specific needs. For those tasked with formulating the agility strategy, Becoming Agile: How the SEAM Approach to Management Builds Adaptability provides invaluable insight.

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Foreword vii

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xv

1 One Vision, Two Perspectives: Agility and the Socio-Economic Organization 1

Purpose of the Book 4

Agility and Performance 8

A Socio]Economic Theory of Organizations 23

Overview of the Book 32

2 The Beginnings of Agility at Brioche Pasquier 37

BPG and the SEAM Methodology 40

The Initial Improvement Process at BPG 44

BPG’s Agility 66

3 The Brioche Pasquier Group Goes Global 75

Chapter Overview 77

Act 1: Internationalizing the Sales Function 80

Act 2: From International Sales to International Production 82

Act 3: From International to Global 89

Assessing BPG’s Agility 96

Summary 112

4 Implementing Agility and SEAM: Recommendations and Implications 113

A Comparison and Integration of Agility and SEAM 113

An Agility Implementation Framework 117

Reflections on Becoming Agile 134

Conclusion 141

About the Authors 145

The Research Sponsor Organizations 149

The Center for Effective Organizations (CEO) 149

The Institute for Socio-Economic Organization Research (ISEOR) 150

The Center for Leadership and Effective Organizations (CLEO) 151

Index 153