5 Simple Steps towards more Strategic Agility

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In order to become a strategically agile organisation you need to determine your current level of ‘agility’. The Strategic Agility Maturity Model is a useful method to find out whether your organisation is reacting ad-hoc or adaptive. Discover your level and what makes a company strategically adaptive.

A few strategic agility facts


  • Strategically agile organisations grow 37 percent faster and have a 39 percent higher profitability.
  • 76 percent of top executives say that the ability to quickly change an organisation is critical in achieving competitive advantage.
  • Organisations with high agility are twice as successful in introducing new initiatives compared to low agility companies.

Source: Strategic Agility, by Mark Hulshof, Sjors van Leeuwen and Jesse Meijers 2013

Five level maturity model

The Strategic Agility Maturity Model is a good way to discover on what level of Strategic Agility you are. This model consists of five maturity levels. From ad hoc to adaptive. Experience shows that organisations usually start at level 1. Reaching a higher level depends on the amount of time, money and energy invested.

  1. Ad hoc: The organisation has no formal strategic process. The creation of a strategy involves little planning. The implementation is done through an array of individual projects. Directors and managers ‘fight’ for their own departments and projects.
  2. Defined: The strategy process is defined. All departments within the organisation have a good understanding of their role and duty. The strategy process and its implementation is structured well and takes place periodically. The implementation is done by allocating budget, management and change management.
  3. Strategic: The organisation uses its strategy as a (strategic) weapon. Strategies are updated frequently and implemented under the direction of senior management. Business unit managers are in the lead. Close attention is paid to business portfolio management, innovation and speed of execution.
  4. Optimal: On this level the strategy process is a continuous process based on detailed insights. Opportunities, threats, actions and priorities are set at an organisational level (both on business unit and department level). Implementation takes place by reconfiguring and reallocation processes, people, resources and money across different business units and departments.
  5. Adaptive: The organisation is continuously learning from its strategies, innovations and actions. Knowledge and experiences are continuously collected and shared. The strategy process is optimized by input from customers, suppliers and other network partners. The speed of anticipation, reaction and decision making is high.

Reach the highest level

Once you know on what level you are, the next step is to climb up to a higher level. If you are already on level 5, congrats! If you’re not yet there, how do you move up to the next level? The other posts about Strategic Agility I’ve written are a good starting point.

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