Super Bowl Agility - Focused, Fast & Flexible



The Philadelphia Eagles just demonstrated the essence of team agility (being focused, fast and flexible) in their stout 41-33 Super Bowl victory over the five-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots led by Hall of Fame (to be) quarterback Tom Brady.

Ever since Doug Pederson came to the Eagles two years ago to join GM Howie Roseman in an effort to pick up the pieces left over from the Chip Kelly experiment, there has been a different mindset, core belief system and team mantra unfolding.  The rewards for these efforts were celebrated yesterday and very likely will continue for days to come in Philadelphia.  If you look under the feathers at the Eagles team and organization, you will see some underlying key operating principles that helped make their victory a reasonable outcome and not a fluke.

Interviews with players and coaches affirm the presence of a shared belief system bonded in the team concept and a commitment to what that means.  This can sound typical and trite, but you can see it operating at a different level with these Eagles than the average team.  The Eagles season was marked with storybook kind of up’s and down’s as they started the season with dominance and a young quarterback, Carson Wentz, off to an MVP kind of year.  And then the unexpected VUCA-like thing happens … BOOM … injury ends his season and on the surface we would expect it also meant the end of Eagle’s playoff hopes.

What happens next is a real testament to Doug Pederson and the Eagles coaching staff and team … they adapted and ultimately thrived.  As volatility, uncertainty, complexity or ambiguity (VUCA) enters your world … will you be able to adapt and thrive?  The Eagles braintrust recognized that they no longer had the young phenom QB running the playbook – they now had a journeyman QB named Nick Foles who was next man up.  They proceeded to adapt their playbook to fit the capabilities of their resources and to leverage the core belief system that they had built to secure the team support, adaptability and commitment to change as needed.

There are many lessons you can take from this journey and carry over into your everyday world if you try.  It is very clear that there is shared FOCUS within this Eagles team and ultimate commitment to the outcome they sought … NFC Championship and ultimately Super Bowl Champions.  They demonstrated that they were FAST in their execution at all points – especially in adapting to change needed to succeed.  Their FLEXIBILITY came through in their willingness to change directions which was facilitated with the confidence they built in their system and its leadership.  Each of these three value systems involve hard work and discipline – just like Doug Pederson said in his locker room victory speech.  But the payoffs are great also as he then declared it was time for them to PARTY. 

Do you remember the 2007 half-time show at Super Bowl XLI in Miami when Prince played in the pouring rain?  This certainly was another example of Super Bowl Team Agility … his response to the producers when asked about his willingness to play in the rain was … “can we make it rain harder”!  Another example of the resilient mindset needed for agility.

Team agility can be illusive … hard to develop and hard to sustain.  Most of you are playing in your own version of the major leagues and we all recognize that  the speed of play and competitive environment gets faster and tougher each year.  How are you training your team agility and building your capabilities at being  Focused, Fast & Flexible?  Our book is filled with ideas, tools and suggestions that you can use.  If you would like more information or insights … reach out here … I’d be pleased to speak with you.


Congratulations Eagles on a deserved Team Win.



This Week in Agility Research: Feb. 19, 2016

Here are a few items of new agility-related research that popped up on our radar this week. 

Research Report: Assessing Leadership Potential
By: Iris Wong

The assessment of leadership potential is a topic of much interest and relevance in the Singapore Public Service, especially with the increasing recognition that the process of identifying of leadership potential can have an extensive and long-lasting impact on Public Service leadership. Appropriate identification of leadership potential in the Public Service is thus essential towards surviving and thriving in a changing environment. This paper integrates and consolidates existing frameworks of leadership potential, and utilises ILOD’s philosophy of leadership and leadership development to offer a perspective of leadership potential in the Singapore Public Service.

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This Week in Agility Research: Nov. 12, 2015

Here are a few items of new agility-related research that popped up on our radar this week. 

Key Success Factors in Multicultural Projects
By: Lent Bogdan

With global relations and international business endeavors becoming the norm, part of an agile organization spans from ensuring capitalizing on aspects of cross cultural projects. This article specifically assess project type, issues within the organization, and cultural diversity among project participants based on Hofstede’s Masculinity and Power Distance.

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The Agile Startup Week 13: Cross-Continental Cross-Training

The Agile Startup Week 13: Cross-Continental Cross-Training

When a few people get together and found a startup, they’re trying to combine their efforts in a way that will create something new and useful for the world. Even if that something has a proven model—for example, in a franchise—the team of cofounders often must learn a great deal as they move forward. They have to push through the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) that surrounds them. 

In that process, tasks and responsibilities often get divided based upon people’s skills or knowledge. That makes sense. But over time, it can lead to a brittle structure if one person’s absence creates a dangerous vacuum.

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