February 2013 
Dr. Nicholas Horney - Interviewed by the Editor of Finland's 

Executive Education Magazine - Profile

"Will your industry disappear?"  January, 2013


Dr. Horney was interview by Profile Magazine's editor, Thomas Freundlich, to gain some perspective on how organizational agility can be a valuable asset in a rapidly transforming health care industry.  Despite amazing advances in medicines and medical technology over the past 50 years, health care is in crisis. Costs are skyrocketing, health outcomes are uneven, and the patient experience is unacceptable. Developing strategic agility and differentiating on value are two recommendations included in the recently released report from Health Care Finance Management Association's Value Project: Defining and Delivering Value. 


Does agility sound like something that a health care organization today-a provider organization, a payer organization, vendors, researchers, a medical school-might find valuable?  From a very narrow perspective, some health care providers can claim to have been agile for a long time. A hospital emergency room, after all, sounds very much like an agile organization. A small staff of highly trained people work cooperatively, self-configuring the range of skills and knowledge appropriate for responding to each patient's needs. They reach out, as those needs require, to engage the wider pool of expertise available within the emergency room, in the hospital, on call, in other hospitals, and even worldwide, through global medical databases and access to superstar specialists and researchers. The agility of the emergency room is, however, a special case. It is the product of a mission rather than of market forces. But imagine a hospital, a rehabilitation facility, a managed care enterprise, a medical device or pharmaceuticals manufacturer, or a national health care system whose routine operations were as dynamic, as collaborative, and as customer centered as the emergency room's.


Profile's editor indicated that there are a number of high profile people suggesting that health care, as we know it, will not be around for long.  "Silicon Valley investor and Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla made waves in the medical community last autumn by predicting that in a few years technology would replace 80% of doctors. According to Khosla, machines, powered by unprecedented processing capacity and feeding on vast data sets, would be not only cheaper but also more accurate than human doctors. Khosla sees transformative innovation in the health care sector coming from entrepreneurs outside the industry, but it is not a view shared by all. Some feel this scenario is outlandish, while others see it as obvious to the point one wonders why it took so long to come up with the idea. Certainly the risks to the industry itself are a real possibility and need to be considered. Examples of this change include AliveCor, a clinical-quality low-cost ECG heart monitor for the iPhone, and 23and- Me, a DNA analysis service that allows people to research their own genes and is available as an online subscription for $299. Hundreds of start-up companies are looking to change the face of health care in the coming years." (Thomas Freundlich, editor, Profile Magazine, January, 2013.) >> READ MORE 

The Agile Imperative: A Leaders Guide to Organizational Agility

By Tom O'Shea, CMC, Principal, Agility Consulting

Those who know us very well know that we have been working on our book, The Agile Imperative, for let's just say several years now.  This book is very important to us as it lays out the framework and research roots for The Agile Model® which our founding partner Nick Horney originally developed back in 2001.  Since that time, we have continued to refine, validate and build a comprehensive suite of products, tools and services to support development and education around building organizational and leadership agility with our clients.


As happens with many others professionals, we have found ourselves passionately engrossed in our work and dedicated to delighting our clients ... often making our own priorities secondary!  This past year we made two commitments ... first to treat the book as if it were a client and secondly to hire a professional editor to add polish, insight and hold us accountable for getting the book to print by end of first quarter!  I could use other more descriptive words for the permission we have given him ... but I think you get the picture.


I share these "true confessions" as way of introducing some of the topics we plan to include in the next few newsletters but also as a way of making public disclosure on a commitment ... which is one of the keys for creating more accountability in any environment.  If it's good enough to teach in our workshops, it is good enough to apply to ourselves.  The awareness of the topic I would like to cover here today can be, at least in some part, attributed to our hired gun editor, Martin Wilcox, former Director of Publications at the Center for Creative Leadership.


In his mild-mannered way, Martin asked a couple of very simple questions during one of our working sessions as webegan writing the final chapter on implementation.  Something like ... "What are some of the learning and insights you have after a decade or more working with clients on how to become more agile.  And what are some of the differences between those who have done it really well and those who maybe did not?"  Maybe it was the sparkle in his eyes as he awaited my reply or maybe the very thoughtful and deep discussions with some client colleagues just the day before ... or both.  That spark clicked the awareness that there are very clear examples of organizations making the AGILE transformation better and faster than others and some clear reasons why! >> READ MORE

Read & See More from Others About - Creating Agility in a VUCA World!



Nick Horney,  Ph.D., Principal




Tom O'Shea, CMC, Principal




Agility Consulting & Training, LLC


1901 Rosevilla Lane - Greensboro, NC 27455