Organization Agility: Where Design = Change

    Organizations, consultants, and business schools are scrambling to have a unique and credible perspective on the latest organizational term du jour: Agility. However, its constant use in values statements, strategic imperatives, research reports, and leadership development programs belies our understanding. During my presentation, I will address what agility is (and what it isn’t) and describe how next practice organizations are combining organization design and organization development principles to create sustainably effective systems. Our applied research in North America and Europe shows how agility is created by integrating what we know about design and change.


    Christopher G. Worley is a professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the NEOMA Business School (France). He is also strategy director for the school’s Centre for Leadership and Effective Organizations and a part-time senior research scientist at USC’s Center for Effective Organizations (US). He was director of Pepperdine University’s MSOD program for eight years. Dr. Worley is co-author of The Agility Factor, Becoming Agile, Management Reset, Built to Change, Integrated Strategic Change, and Organization Development and Change, the leading textbook in the field. His articles have appeared in The Sloan Management Review, Organizational Dynamics, the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Strategy+Business, and the Journal of Organization Behavior among others. He received the 2012 Douglas McGregor “Best Paper” award from the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, the 2011 “Outstanding Author Contribution Award” from the Emerald LiteratiNetwork, and the 2011 Larry Porter Award from the OD Network. He has contributed numerous chapters in edited volumes and made presentations to scholarly societies. He was Chair of the Academy of Management’s Organization Development and Change Division between 2001 and 2004. Chris’s applied research and consulting practice with such clients as Microsoft, Unilever, PepsiCo, GfK, and Enedis is complemented by more than fifteen years of management experience. He and his wife, Debbie, live in Chigny-les-Roses, France where they watch the lives of their three children with keen interest.

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