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In an international panel at Davos 2019, business leaders from diverse industries discuss agility, the business topic du jour. The title of their panel promises a discussion of the trade-offs agile businesses make, and the panelists do address such concerns. However, they devote more brainpower and time toward defining “agile” and the qualities of agile leadership – which are nonetheless worthy topics that the panel explores with humble wisdom and experience. For a clear, thoughtful primer on how to incorporate agility into your organization, you will need to look further afield.


The fourth industrial revolution is just one of many industrial revolutions to come. Thus, modern companies must be agile. But what is agility? Despite what some people may think, agility is a business tradition, not a new trend. Not to be confused with “flexibility” – that is, maintaining a resizable labor force that shrinks or grows with production needs – agility is a mind-set for handling today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world. Some say that agility is the capacity to recover after every stumble or to keep an eye on the...

About the Speakers

Maurice Lévy is chair at Publicis Groupe, Simon Freakley is CEO of AlixPartners, André Kudelski is chair and CEO of the Kudelski Group, Paul Bulcke is chair and former CEO at Nestlé, and panel moderator Bonnie Gwin is vice-chair and CEO of Heidrick & Struggles.

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