Tom Friend

Business Agility Consultant, Afterburner Inc.

Business Agility Innovation: Turning Ideas Into Action Via Planning Workshops

Business Agility in conjunction with a commitment to Innovation is a game-changing reality in our world. Individuals who can create ideas and act on them to build new technologies and products are emerging as the new leaders in 21st Century society. Many technology companies in areas like Silicon Valley, university innovation labs, and institutes are cultivating countless innovative ideas and processes.

With all this attention, innovation in the corporate business world at C-level execution is somewhat of a mystery and quite hard to define and even harder to master. As with any journey, it begins with a first step. What simple step can you take today to understand how innovation takes place and the factors that empower it, so you can optimize the conditions for future innovation in your organization? Intentional planning that has buy-in from all stakeholders provides a bridge from ideas to executable plans. This accelerates a company’s ability to both create and respond to change in order to profit in a turbulent business environment.

The companies that can focus and listen to their customers and deliver value with solid execution plans have a higher probability of survival. Those that shift their focus to customers outside their current set of offerings using interactive feedback to expand their offerings and differentiate themselves have a higher probability to thrive through innovation via business agility.

As you consider business agility and innovation within your organization, please keep in mind it is a journey, not a destination. It requires the right mindset, networks, teams, and a customer focus. In order to master strategic Business Agility, a company must master a foundation of Tactical Operational Agility. I would encourage those on this journey to not tackle Strategic Agility until you have progressed on foundational tactical Agility.

The old ways of doing things no longer deliver the value they once did. The Business Agility mindset invites us to move on from yesterday’s business modes and old ways of thinking.


Tom Friend is a retired military pilot and squadron commander. He is an accomplished Agile consultant / coach with 20+ years’ experience training and leading software development teams in various industries. Tom is a distinguished graduate of Air War College and has a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics. As an Afterburner Executive Consultant, Tom teaches Agile, Scrum and Flawless Execution to top organizations to turn their ideas into actionable plans.