Organization Agility | Human Capital | Deloitte Netherlands


Organization Agility

Strengthening the ability to navigate turbulent markets

Organization agility is the ability to rapidly react to changing customer and market conditions to seize and maintain a competitive advantage. To respond successfully to disruption, leaders must change the way their organizations are structured, and the way they operate and behave. Achieving organization agility will enable a business to take full advantage of disruptive change to rapidly create customer, stakeholder, employee and company value.

Many organizations are trying to become agile, but are not reaping the full benefits. Although 94% of business leaders think that agility and collaboration are critical to their organization’s success, only 6% believe their organizations are highly agile today. What makes it so difficult? These are the key challenges:

Resistance to change
Often there is resistance to change from within the organization. While leaders initiate plans for organization-wide agility, implementation is often cumbersome because of the significant shift in ways of working that it entails.

Unsuitable organizational structures
To transition to a more flexible structure, many organizations try to break away from a fully hierarchical model with silos, to a  ‘multi-speed’ model where customer-facing activities are organized into value streams. However, these streams need to be balanced with activities in a stable core. And finding the right balance is complex, especially when value streams cross many business units.

Leadership, mindset, lack of commitment, lack of clear vision
Leaders set the tone for the entire organization. However, on many transformation journeys, leaders continue to employ legacy leadership styles and behaviors that are not consistent with the new mindset and behaviors that the organization is trying to instill. This sends mixed messages to the rest of the organization.

Difficulties in scaling
Independently optimizing different parts of the organization does not work. Equally, trying to “copy and paste” from another organizational transformation does not work, as each journey to achieve agility is unique. And many companies face a shortage of skilled personnel. The result can be a locally-optimized transformation that fails to consider the whole organization.

Technology challenges
Where technology slows them down, it is difficult and frustrating for teams trying to deliver greater value. However, technology can enable teams to achieve results faster and make it easier to get work done.

The Biggest Benefits

Successful organizations achieve:

Strong customer engagement
Strategic alignment: Work is prioritized in line with external trends and market demand. Teams are focused on delivering the 'right things'.

Structure: The shape and size of your organization is optimized at all levels to be lean and responsive to change. The result is a flexible and stable structure that can withstand disruption and uncertainty.

Customer-focused product portfolios: Product portfolios are designed to exceed unmet customer needs, thereby delivering and maximizing both customer and company value. The focus is on generating value that produces revenue rather than cutting costs

Improved flow efficiency
Outcome-driven: The company focuses on and measures 'doing the right things' from a customer and business perspective, ensuring products are meeting customer expectations, as well as maximizing productivity and value.

Funding and financial management: Responsibility for value creation and delivery lies at the product portfolio level, with funding aligned to the product roadmap to support staffing levels with the capacity required to complete the scope of work.

Engaged employees: Staff have clarity on strategic priorities and the work aligned to deliver on these priorities. Employees’ roles and responsibilities are clearly defined so they know how to contribute to valuable outcomes.

Minimum viable product (MVP) plus agile delivery: The organization employs agile development methods focused on releasing MVPs to the market that deliver the highest possible value, in the shortest amount of time. 

Greater people engagement
Leadership agility: Organizational leaders can respond quickly to changing market conditions, exploit new opportunities, and seize and maintain competitive advantages.

Culture of agility: Agility is in the DNA of the organization. Nimbleness and responsiveness to change are encouraged and supported from vertical, horizontal, and behavioral perspectives.

Performance management: Multidisciplinary teams are aligned around shared goals, with an organizational focus on recognizing team performance versus individual performance through incentives and pay.

Our Approach

Guided by five principles, we help organizations accelerate agility journeys at various maturity levels and in various sectors. These principles are key to achieving transformation outcomes sooner:

  • End-to-end transformation – Realize change across the business/portfolio that contributes to achieving strategic goals.
  • Leaders guide the way – Leaders bring a vision on key transformation objectives, own the journey and its outcomes, and are engaged and supportive. 
  • Culture at the center – It is crucial to start by defining the key values, mindset and behaviors needed to achieve the desired outcomes. This process will guide the changes that need to be made to processes and ways of working.
  • Measure what matters – Focus on measuring the outcomes that improve the customer and/or employee journey. Keep track of the trends, so that adjustments can be made at the moment of need. In this way, the change process itself becomes adaptable, and ensures focus is kept on achieving the most relevant and valuable outcomes.
  • We start by leaving – We build clients’ knowledge and key capabilities to sustain change in the long run. The sooner we succeed at this, the faster you are ready to navigate uncertainty and unpredictability, independently of external consultants. 

Our approach works across sectors and is tuned to relevant contexts to ensure a fit between relevant markets and needs for agility/stability in every organizational unit. 

Why Deloitte

With Deloitte, long-lasting results are achievable. 

People are the key to your success. Too often, we see transformations that are too focused on technology or processes.  We pride ourselves in putting the human factor at the heart of your transformation.

This is not an easy journey, but a path without obstacles does not lead to greatness. We help you and your people navigate towards organization agility that works.

Our approach accelerates any transformation, regardless of where you are on the journey.

As we continuously challenge you to realize your outcomes, we are not an easy companion on your journey. 

Although transformations can be hard, we have learned how to make high impact organizational changes engaging and - when appropriate - fun.

And when we leave, you master the capabilities needed to continue your transformation journey successfully.


Axel Tuk

Axel Tuk


Axel Tuk is Director within the Human Capital practice of Deloitte Consulting. He is the sponsoring director of Organizational agility business line within Organizational Transformation. He gained ext... More

Joris Delemarre

Joris Delemarre

Senior Manager

I am passionate about helping organizations to fundamentally redesign their operating model and the way they deliver value to gain resilience and to achieve its organizational purpose. While transform... More