Agile is…

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Agile is…

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I saw the following quote on LinkedIn the other day from Anjali Leon. It’s the answer to the question—What is Agile? 

What is Agile? A question that conjures up a variety of responses.

Over the last few years of helping my clients embrace this ‘way’ to arrive at better outcomes, I have landed on this definition (so far).

‘Agile is a philosophy and strategy for navigating complexity and change that values outcome orientation, cross-functional collaboration, customer-centricity, worker well-being, and adaptation through experimentation’

Here is how I think of some of these terms…

  • Philosophy – a theory or attitude held by a person or organization that acts as a guiding principle for behavior.

  • Strategy – a way forward or long-range plan of doing something or dealing with something.

  • Navigate – deal effectively with a situation.

  • Complexity – something that has many parts and is difficult to understand and find answers to.

What do you think? Does it resonate? And, how do you answer the question – What is Agile?

First of all, I want to applaud Anjali for her courage. I’ve learned the hard way that anytime you “go on record” publicly with a definition of any sort, you can’t make all of the people happy with it.


Second, I really like the definition. As someone in the comments mentioned, the only missing component from my perspective is the team (so I added worker well-being in-line).

Finally, I think exercises like this are incredibly healthy for us as agile coaches, leaders, and change agents. We ought to be “continuously noodling” on the mindset and principle aspects of agility to keep us focused and sharp.

Thank you, Anjali for the noodling prompt!

Stay agile my friends,


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