Whilst working in an ‘agile’ manner started within IT, agile ways of working are needed across the organisation. In another post we spoke about the Agile Manifesto.

We believe that all of the strengths of 'Agile' can be summarised as three Laws.

  1. The Law of the Customer — an obsession with delivering value to customers as the be-all and end-all of the organisation.
  2. The Law of the Small Team — a presumption that all work be carried out by small self-organising teams, working in short cycles and focused on delivering value to customers.
  3. The Law of the Network — a continuing effort to obliterate bureaucracy and top-down hierarchy so that the firm operates as an interacting network of teams, all focused on working together to deliver increasing value to customers.

These 'Agile' strengths may also be applied to your advantage in building a customer-centric digital organisation that is focused on delivering value to your customers.


We'll look at each Law in more detail in separate posts:

The Law of the Customer
Customers no longer line up meekly at our shop door, impatient to buy what you have to offer. You need a team who are constantly alert to discussions about your brand or products on third-party sites or social networks, and who build connections and understand what customers truly want to buy.
The Law of the Small Team
Small teams are essential to create a customer-centric company. With self-organising leadership and alignment to the overall product roadmap, they are given the autonomy to decide what to build, how to build it, and how to work together while building it.
The Law of the Network
Work flows smoothly and continuously. Instead of major programmes of work requiring significant capital investment, we move the whole company to an agile way of working where we continually respond to customer needs, and deliver increasing customer value.

We assert that time-honoured organisational structures and funding methods are no longer relevant. Instead, every organisation knows three kinds of leadership. In Leadership Tensions we note that in customer-centric businesses Compliance Leadership (the realm of hierarchy) is largely replaced by Social Leadership (the realm of influence) and Value Creation Leadership (the realm of reputation).

Leadership Tensions
Most workers today would agree that org charts cannot even remotely describe the reality of working life. Hierarchy works for setting up corporate contracts and paying taxes. Over-emphasis on formal structures reduces effectiveness and inhibits innovation. There are alternate structures.

Fun fact: Asimov introduced his Three Laws in his 1942 short story "Runaround".