Clearly Agile

Giles Lindsay


Welcome to the home of “Clearly Agile: A Leadership Guide to Business Agility,” a pivotal resource for leaders striving to navigate the complexities of today’s fast-paced business environment. This book, penned with the seasoned expertise of Giles Lindsay, offers a comprehensive exploration into the principles of business agility, from fostering an Agile mindset to mastering Agile execution. It’s designed to equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to transform your organisation into an agile, responsive entity capable of leading in a world of constant change.

Dive into the twelve chapters that unfold a clear, actionable path towards achieving unparalleled business agility. Each chapter, from understanding the essential need for agility to anticipating the future of agile practices, is crafted to guide you through the critical aspects of leading agile transformations. Whether you’re building and managing agile teams, scaling business agility, or overcoming challenges in agile adoption, “Clearly Agile” is an essential guide to surviving and thriving in the ever-evolving business landscape. Join us in embracing the journey towards becoming a truly agile leader.

The Book

Formats available: Hardback, Paperback, eBook

Publisher: Practical Inspiration Publishing

Publication date: 9th April 2024

Clearly Agile

A Leadership Guide to Business Agility

Giles Lindsay deftly demystifies the world of business agility, providing a practical and powerful roadmap for leaders ready to drive transformational change in their organisations.

Adopting agile ways of working can transform your organisation into one where change is embraced and harnessed as a powerful driving force. This will allow you to adapt to a world of continuous change and set the pace in the marketplace.

The book reveals how to cultivate a culture supportive of agility, develop visionary leadership, and implement effective execution strategies. It highlights the importance of adaptability and responsiveness, ensuring your organisation survives and thrives amid constant change.

Clearly Agile is more than just a book on business agility. It’s an essential guide for anyone aspiring to lead successfully in a fast-changing business world. Step into the future confidently, equipped with the knowledge and tools to master the art of business agility and lead your organisation to sustained success.

Praise for Clearly Agile

‘Great book, I came to this via an unboxing video.’

Simon Appleby, Director of Bookswarm

‘Giles’ voice, as an experienced technical leader and coach, sounds clearly throughout this book. It is both a manual of transformational leadership and a source of warmth and wisdom for those times when you just need another perspective.’

Russ Lewis, Transformation Specialist & Executive Coach

‘When I heard that Giles was writing a book on a shared passion, I jumped at the chance to read it and further fire up my passion for Business Agility. And that it did.

In many respects, Agile and Business Agility are often misunderstood. And worse still, misused. This often leads to a poor representation of a mindset that could serve businesses and their people in so many ways. And in this context, I love that Giles has written this informative book for those curious about Business Agility.

This quote from the book resonated with me and hopefully inspires someone to pick up the book and start their journey into the rewarding world of Business Agility through the lens of Giles’ CLEAR Model:

Just as the world constantly evolves, so must the Agile Manifesto. We must look at it not as an unchanging scripture but as a living document that adapts to modern business needs. The future of business agility lies in its ability to evolve and grow with the ever-changing business landscape.

Amen to that!’

TC Gill, Transformation Lead and People Development Coach

‘Clearly Agile is not just another business book on Agile—it’s a master class from Giles, a technology executive and business agility coach, and a renowned advocate for agility. With deep insights and actionable advice, Giles demystifies the principles of agility, offering a clear roadmap for leaders navigating our rapidly changing business landscape. This book is an essential read for anyone committed to future-proofing their leadership skills and ensuring their organisation’s continued success during the latest industrial revolution.’

Neil A. Walker, Business Agility specialist with 32 years of championing agile and agility

‘In Clearly Agile, Giles connects the dots of agility, guiding readers from the importance of leadership and mindset to team and enterprise agility… This book will leave you with actionable strategies to improve how your organization works – no matter what the future brings.’

Laura M. Powers, Chief Executive Chief Executive Officer, Business Agility Institute

‘Giles is well known as an excellent executive and agile coach. I am very pleased that he has shared his comprehensive knowledge in this excellent book. It covers a wide spectrum of guidance on business agility and is definitely worth a read.’

Mark Lines, Co-creator of Disciplined Agile

‘Giles’ deep experience, and ability to share that wisdom, shines throughout Clearly Agile. Any leader who is hoping to evolve their organization in an agile enterprise will discover actionable and impactful insights in this book.’

Scott Ambler, Co-creator of Disciplined Agile

‘Clearly Agile’ is the definitive guide for leaders navigating the ever-evolving business landscape. With deep insights and actionable advice, it demystifies the principles of business agility, providing a clear roadmap for those seeking to drive innovation and adaptability in their organisations. Giles, a seasoned tech executive and eminent business agility coach, has authored a must-read for anyone committed to future-proofing their leadership skills.’

Neil A. Walker. Business Agility specialist, BJSS Consulting, with 32 years of championing agile and agility

‘Embark on a transformative journey with CLEARLY Agile as Giles blends reflection and practical insights. As a seasoned leader in digital transformation, Giles delves into the dynamics of change, demonstrating empathy for all within the business.

Beyond the mechanics of processes and methodologies, CLEARLY Agile underlines the truth – it’s about the people. Giles describes creating an environment where colleagues not only deliver value but also feel valued. This book guides agile leaders to foster collaboration, navigate transformational conflict, and create a workplace where cooperation becomes the norm.

A compelling read that invites you to explore the heart of agile leadership and discover the impact it can have on both your team and the entire system of work.’

Anneke Panman, Director of Coaching, Agile Delta Consulting

‘What makes this book stand out for me are three things. Firstly, Giles brings clarity to the nature of business agility and what it looks like. Secondly, the move to business agility is far from trivial. It is not and cannot be a modification of business operations but a Transformation. While this second idea is enough to scare the life out of any Board member. Giles makes it clear not just what the risks of Transformation are but also the risks to the future of a business that fails to adopt business agility. Thirdly, there are useful tools embedded along the way, such as learning aids and reflection prompts. As an author on project agility, I understand the need for examples and case studies from various sectors, and so does Giles. I heartily recommend this book.’

Adrian Pyne, author of Agile Beyond IT

Five Key Components of Business Agility

The CLEAR Model

It is essential to comprehend the underpinning components contributing to an organization’s Agile transformation.

This section introduces the five pivotal principles of the CLEAR Model® – Culture, Leadership, Execution, Adaptability and Responsiveness.

These CLEAR principles provide a comprehensive, nuanced perspective on business agility and the outcomes we want to achieve. From the nurturing ground of Culture to the robust sprint of Responsiveness, each element plays a crucial role in steering the Agile journey. They encapsulate the essence of Agile, combining to form a synergistic whole that empowers businesses to thrive amidst change and uncertainty. As we delve into each chapter, these principles will serve as our faithful compass, providing context and clarity to our exploration of business agility.

CLEAR Model®

Click the diagram to enlarge


Culture: “The Agile Nurturer”

Culture is the fertile soil from which agile organizations grow and flourish. It defines the shared values, beliefs, behaviours and practices that underpin an organization’s response to change. A culture supportive of agility encourages open communication, values diversity and promotes a learning mindset. It empowers teams to experiment and learn from failures, fostering resilience and the capacity to bounce back stronger. The key component of Culture will permeate our discussions in Chapter 5 on Building an Agile Culture and will serve as the foundation for our conversation on Embracing an Agile Mindset in Chapter 2. Culture is the crucible within which agility is fostered and sustained, setting the tone for the Agile journey ahead.


Leadership: “The Agile Conductor”

Leadership is the conductor orchestrating the symphony of Agile transformation. It inspires, empowers and guides teams towards shared Agile objectives. Agile leaders are not authoritative but collaborative, prioritizing team autonomy and fostering a sense of shared ownership. They maintain a forward-looking vision, planning and preparing for the future while managing the present. Leadership as a key component will feature prominently in Chapter 4 on Leadership in Business Agility and will play a crucial role in our analysis of Agile Planning in Chapter 7. The role of leaders in driving Agile transformation is crucial, and their ability to motivate and mobilize teams towards Agile goals is paramount.


Execution: “The Agile Artisan”

Execution is the hands-on, masterful artistry behind the Agile transformation. It’s about translating strategic Agile plans into action, efficiently transforming goals into tangible outcomes. Agile execution emphasizes a balance between speed and quality, focusing not just on doing things quickly but on doing them right. It involves iterative planning, implementing, reviewing and improving cycles, propelling the organization forward one Agile sprint at a time. In the Agile context, a “sprint” is a fixed time period, usually two to four weeks, during which a specific set of tasks is planned and completed. It’s a foundational building block of many Agile approaches, allowing teams to break down complex projects into manageable chunks. The role of Execution will be explored in Chapter 8 on Agile Execution and will underpin our insights shared in Chapter 9 on Measuring Business Agility. Execution is the motor that drives the Agile transformation journey, turning the wheels of progress with each meticulously planned and executed step.


Adaptability: “The Agile Shape-Shifter”

Adaptability is the shape-shifting ability of an Agile organization, the capacity to transform structures, operations and decision-making processes to thrive amidst evolving circumstances. It’s not just about reacting to changes; it’s about anticipating them, preparing for them and capitalizing on them. Adaptability ensures that the organizational structures we’ll discuss in Chapter 5 on Building an Agile Culture and the leadership strategies we’ll delve into in Chapter 4 are malleable and capable of morphing to accommodate new demands or directions. It fosters an environment where innovation flourishes and teams can experiment, learn and grow. It’s a key component that will echo through our conversations about managing Agile Teams in Chapter 6 and Scaling Business Agility in Chapter 10.


Responsiveness: “The Agile Sprinter”

Responsiveness is the Agile organization’s sprinting capability. It’s about moving swiftly, not aimlessly, but with clear purpose and direction. Responsiveness involves reacting to shifts in the market, evolving customer needs and emerging opportunities with velocity and precision. An Agile organization listens to its customers, monitors market trends and keeps an eye on its competition to respond in real-time. This is not about hasty decisions; it’s about informed, efficient action. The techniques we’ll discuss for Measuring Business Agility in Chapter 9 and the insights we’ll share on Overcoming Challenges in Agile Adoption in Chapter 11 will be underpinned by the key component of responsiveness.

The Author: Giles Lindsay

Giles Lindsay is a technology executive, business agility coach, and CEO of Agile Delta Consulting Limited. Giles has a track record in driving digital transformation and technological leadership. He has adeptly scaled high-performing delivery teams across various industries, from nimble startups to leading enterprises. His roles, from CTO or CIO to visionary change agent, have always centred on defining overarching technology strategies and aligning them with organisational objectives.

Giles is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI), the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT (FBCS), and The Institution of Analysts & Programmers (FIAP). His leadership across the UK and global technology companies has consistently fostered innovation, growth, and adept stakeholder management. With a unique ability to demystify intricate technical concepts, he’s enabled better ways of working across organisations.

Giles’ commitment extends to the literary realm with his book: “Clearly Agile: A Leadership Guide to Business Agility”. This comprehensive guide focuses on embracing Agile principles to effect transformative change in organisations. An ardent advocate for continuous improvement and innovation, Giles is unwaveringly dedicated to creating a business world that prioritises value, inclusivity, and societal advancement.

Book News

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🌟 Another Milestone on the ‘Clearly Agile’ Journey 🌟

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The Company: Agile Delta Consulting

Agile Delta Consulting Limited is an award-winning professional services organisation specialising in Business Agility Coaching and Fractional CTO, CIO, and Interim Technology Leadership Services. Our unique offerings encompass Agile Mastery: Coaching and Training Solutions, Agile Transformation Consultancy Services, Executive Leadership Coaching and Mentoring, and Agile Facilitation and Collaboration Training. We empower individuals, teams, and organisations to achieve unparalleled Business Agility through Agile Ways of Working, steering them to evolve, integrate, and excel in an ever-changing competitive environment.

Contact Giles

Whether you’re seeking transformative consulting, inspiring keynote speeches, expert insights on podcasts, or tailored assistance for your organisational challenges, Giles is ready to help. Don’t let this opportunity to collaborate with a leading authority in Agile ways of working pass by. Reach out now for a partnership that will redefine success for your business and beyond.