Title The Agile Leader
Subtitle How to Create an Agile Business in the Digital Age
Author Simon Hayward
ISBN 9780749482732
List price GBP 14.99
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 224
Book size 159 x 235 mm
Publishing year 2018
Original publisher Kogan Page Limited
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
About the book


“We need to disrupt existing business models to drive growth in our unpredictable world. This book can help leaders to think differently, to agitate for change and to take others on a transformation journey. It highlights the importance of culture, behaviour, and ways of working.”
—Kevin Costello, CEO, Haymarket Media Group


“To be agile, you need to try and test things. Not everything you try is going to work. Fail small, fail fast, and learn quickly. The Agile Leader demonstrates that agility is not just about creating things. It’s also about ruthless prioritisation, managing risk, and knowing when to stop. This book helps leaders to make choices that define their business success on a day-to-day basis. If you’re not moving forward and innovating and changing things, then your competitors will be.”

—Humphrey Cobbold, CEO, PureGym


“In The Agile Leader, Simon Hayward develops the approach to building an agile organization that he introduced in his first book, Connected Leadership. He looks at how many successful organizations are led by their customers, working with them to constantly innovate and improve, for mutual benefit. He also focuses on the importance of simplifying business processes and breaking down silos to encourage collaboration. In an uncertain climate, businesses need to be adaptable, flexible and always evolving. As well as spotting opportunities for growth, we need to make decisions quickly to seize these opportunities. We have adopted many of the principles of agile leadership at Pentland Brands to future-proof our own organization.”

—Andy Rubin, Chair, Pentland Brands


“With disruption happening in every industry and customer behaviour changing all the time, agility has become a highly-prized leadership skill. By reacting with agility to changing customer needs and focusing effort where it will have greatest impact, this book shows where leaders can gain quick wins as well as achieving long-term, sustainable success.”

—Roger Whiteside, CEO, Greggs


“This book explains very clearly just what makes agile leadership different to traditional leadership. Making the shift towards a more agile style of leadership can be a huge challenge. Simon Hayward offers a range of insights and advice to help you to make that shift in a sustainable way.”

—Mark Allen, CEO, Dairy Crest


“The digital explosion has had a huge impact on every industry. It has disrupted traditional ways of working. This book highlights the importance of customer focus, learning and collaboration in becoming increasingly innovative and agile. By adopting the principles of agile leadership, you can stay ahead of the competition.”

—Caroline Rush, CEO, British Fashion Council


“A thoughtful read for leaders and aspiring leaders on the balance between reflection and action needed for transforming, or even just surviving, in an age of digital overload.”

—Ben Page, Chief Executive, Ipsos MORI


“We live in a fast-moving world. This book recognises that as a leader, you are on a constant journey. You cannot stand still. You need to stay abreast of new ideas and developments, to learn from others, to seek out opportunities and react to them. There is no finishing post. Being truly agile is about constantly evolving.”

—Vanda Murray OBE, Chairman, Fenner


“Technology is accelerating the pace of change. It increases customer expectations. The Agile Leader offers valuable advice to leaders who want to embrace that change and to place customers at the heart of their business. It highlights the importance of developing a clear vision, purpose and framework so leaders can empower others to go ahead and work in more agile ways, and to react to customer needs and new opportunities.”

—Angela Spindler, CEO, N Brown


“This is a really timely and thoughtful book for any leader thinking about how not just to survive, but to thrive, in our fast-changing world. It’s a powerful sequel to Simon Hayward’s Connected Leadership, really bringing agile leadership to life through a series of compelling interviews and case studies, alongside lots of practical hints and tips.”

—Alison Nimmo CBE, CEO, The Crown Estate


“This book demonstrates that by embracing agile leadership you can drive innovation and improved productivity. It is relevant to managers and leaders across all organisations as it promotes less hierarchical structures, collaboration, and devolved decision-making. This encourages a clearer focus on customer needs and enables more agile working by removing bureaucracy and encouraging empowerment.”

—Campbell Fitch, Global HR Director, Spire Global


“This book is full of useful tips to help leaders succeed in a digital world. Drawing on his extensive research and real-world case studies, Simon Hayward demonstrates how leaders can, indeed have to, adapt to rapidly changing circumstances.”

—Jacqueline Moyse, Head of Organizational Development, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group


“This is an inspiring book which is both thought provoking and full of practical solutions and insight to help you to be an agile leader in a fast-moving environment.”

—Henny Braund, Chief Executive, Anthony Nolan


“In The Agile Leader, Simon Hayward identifies the biggest barriers to agility and explains very clearly how to overcome these. By distilling robust research into valuable insights, he offers guidance to leaders who want to develop their own capabilities in order to drive business-wide transformation. A very practical guide which can change the way you work and help you to influence wider ways of working across your organization.”

—Mark Brown, Vice President, Global Talent Management, Fresenius Medical Care


“This book provides leaders with a blueprint for creating a more agile organization. It identifies the barriers to agility and suggests some specific ways to overcome them. This is a very useful guide to streamlining your business in a complex world.

—Richard Prosser, Chairman, Audley Travel and Tusker Direct


“In The Agile Leader, Simon Hayward distils a great deal of research and real-world experience into a very practical and insightful guide. Illuminating case studies deliver some real light-bulb moments. Building on Connected Leadership, this book provides a roadmap for developing a more agile business and describes how to take people with you on a journey of transformation. It explains why collaboration and connection between colleagues, customers and key business stakeholders is critical to ensuring your business can evolve and thrive.”

—Alan Boddy, Executive Director of Operations, livin


“Many startups begin life as very agile businesses but find it difficult to hold on to that agility as they grow. The Agile Leader shows how businesses can continue to evolve, adapt and innovate, no matter how big they become.”

—Tony Foggett, CEO, Code


“Once again, Simon has managed to produce a book that is informative, challenging, and a good read.”

—Professor Catherine Cassell, Dean, Birmingham Business School


“In The Agile Leader, Dr Simon Hayward draws on well documented research into agility, complexity, and distributed leadership. He distils this into some very practical advice to help managers and leaders deal with the everyday challenges of working in an unpredictable and fast-paced environment.”

—Professor Fiona Devine OBE, FcSS, FRSA, Head of Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester.


“I have worked with Simon Hayward in various different formats and have found his insights on leadership to be enormously valuable.”

—Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor, The University of Manchester


“How to lead effectively in this fast-moving chaotic world? In this fine book, Dr Simon Hayward argues convincingly that today, agility is a crucial element of effective leadership. Packed with research findings and practical advice, this book should be recommended reading for current and future leaders, as well as students of management theory.”

—Professor John Perkins CBE, former Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Her Majesty’s Government


“Dr Simon Hayward condenses a wealth of research and case-study material into a highly readable guide to agile leadership. He explains how leaders can develop their own capabilities, build more agile teams and play a part in creating agile cultures that support organizational transformation.”

—Professor Mike Bresnen, Head of Department of People and Performance, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School


We live in a digital world which is fast-changing, volatile and uncertain. What it takes to be a great leader has changed fundamentally. Leaders need to be agile, simultaneously helping their people perform better, but also unsettling their thinking. If you are an agile leader you must be an enabler and a disruptor at the same time.

The Agile Leader provides a blueprint for creating a more agile organization but doesn’t shy away from appreciating how tough this will be. Simon Hayward explains how if leaders adopt agile ways of working – including ruthless prioritization, collaboration and teamworking, thoughtful and developed decision making, creating a learning culture and customer-driven innovation – they will adapt and continuously evolve to match a complex business world.

Developing agile ways of working at an enterprise level is a real challenge and needs a significant shift in both mindset and behaviour from leaders if it is to be sustainable. The Agile Leader shows you how.


About the authors




Part one: Agile leadership

Chapter 1: What is agile leadership? • Introduction • Leading in a digital world • Connected leaders • Agile leaders enable and disrupt • Agility • How the rest of connected leadership contributes to agile leadership • Summary • References

Chapter 2: Being an agile leader • Introduction • Starting with you • Learning agility • Empathy • Thoughtful decisiveness • Digital literacy • Summary • Checklist • References

Chapter 3: Agile ways of working • Introduction • Agile management • Scrum • Summary

Chapter 4: Building an agile business • Introduction • A transformation • Barriers to building an agile business • Culture • Clarity • Closeness to customers • Collaboration • Summary • References

Part two: Agile in practice

Chapter 5: Ruthless prioritization • Introduction • You are the product owner • The main thing • Creating an obsession with simplicity • Summary • References

Chapter 6: Collaboration and agile teamworking • Introduction • Build strong team foundations • Self-managing teams • Summary • References

Chapter 7: Agile decision making • Introduction • Clarity • Thoughtful decision making • Devolution • Summary • References

Chapter 8: Learning, innovation and improvement • Introduction • Enabling and disrupting • Creating a learning culture • Customer-driven innovation • Experimentation • Outside in • Summary • References

Part three: Next Steps

Chapter 9: Creating an agile enterprise • Introduction • Articulate the vision • Flip leaders • Build the muscle • Light fires • Embed the process • Summary • References

Chapter 10: Agility and the digital society • Introduction • Accelerating change • Networked organizations • The agile leadership paradox in society • Summary • References


About the Author:

Dr Simon Hayward is the founder and CEO of Cirrus, a leading provider of leadership development and change programmes to large and ambitious organisations. He has a wealth of strategic leadership experience gained over 30 years in consulting. He is a dynamic thought leader, valued by many major clients – including British Airways , BT Group, Standard Chartered Bank and Three – as a trusted advisor and partner. Simon’s first book, Connected Leadership, was a finalist in the CMI Management Book of the Year Awards and he has been featured in the Financial Times, Management Today, Forbes, the Sunday Times, the Guardian, Fast Company, BBC Radio 4 and Sky News.

Target Audience:

A thoughtful read for leaders and aspiring leaders.


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