Network Business Unit - Q2/2019


“Response Constrained”

You know what should be done. But you lack the ability to act on this knowledge quickly enough to maximize the impact for customers.


As a result your organization likely…

• Focuses on trying to go faster to overcome your challenges

• Struggles to build organizational alignment, even when embracing agile ways of working

• Deploys people that are more invested in building competitive advantages for their functional areas than for customers.

Based on your survey responses, your organization or line of business’s impulse is to go faster to overcome internal alignment challenges. This creates a tension between technology and business functions, as they try to push harder against one another to self-protect, meet goals and push past the pain of misaligned goals and priorities.

As a result leadership in their frustration spends a majority of its time trying to navigate organizational gridlock. The true answers lie in alignment, but the prevailing mindset of going fast makes taking time to slow down almost impossible. 

Reflecting this frustration, the people who do the day-to-day work of selling, marketing, building product and providing services lack the ability to fix their most pressing challenges. These roles are functionally entrenched more than customer focused, which is likely a cause of a certain level of disengagement as a person’s business function gets further away from the market and customer.  

Learning More About my Diagnosis


Your company or line of business has been diagnosed as Response Constrained, which means you likely sense quality market opportunities but are slow to capitalize on them. As a result, your company or line of business is only able to ‘semi-respond’ to opportunities. Typically this causes lag in going to market, even with your best ideas. The sub-optimal market entrance is typically due to misalignment between value and priority, which are founded in misalignment between business functions and product / service delivery. In short, the business and product / service delivery are operating out of sync with one another.

The product / service delivery and business gap causes response constrained companies go to market with solutions that struggle to clearly “move the needle”. Consequently, the full cycle from concept to revenue is more of a trickle than a flow. As a result the pressure to increase the company or line of business’s response time excludes understanding what is causing the gap, because everyone is racing to catch their tail. And the organization works harder to go faster, straight through the quicksand of misalignment challenges that are draining their true competitive potential.

Your Answers: Summary

1. We create, test and validate hypotheses to make business strategy and investment decisions, because we know market success requires challenging our assumptions. Somewhat agree – We do this often enough to fuel some successful business decisions.

2. We are heavily invested in iterating on external market plays and internal improvements, because we are more about maximizing external customer opportunities than getting things checked off a list. Somewhat agree – We do this often enough and make meaningful adjustments to satisfy customers.

3. Our function’s authority, talents and interests are wholly invested in building competitive advantages for our external customers, and as a result we have given up functionally insular self-preservation tactics for open and transparent collaboration. Neither disagree or agree – Not sure if we focus on preserving authority.

4. We relentlessly gather external customer and market data before and after the launch of a product or service and use it to validate the initial idea and/or further investment, while also using it as a source for generating new ideas. Neither disagree or agree – I assume this is happening, I’ve never seen it, except in high level visions.

5. People are willing to put themselves and their ideas second when someone of equal or lower position within the organization has a better idea, and quickly find ways to support it for the growth and improvement of the organization. Somewhat disagree – We do this sometimes but do not actively encourage the behavior or take timely action.

6. It’s typical that both leadership and the product development team, i.e. everyone who has a hand in strategy and product development, has meaningful ‘idea shaping’ experience with the target external customer(s) and not just the solution. Somewhat disagree – We do this sometimes get selected business and technology leaders close to the customer, but delivery team only get anecdotal impressions of the results.

Key Weaknesses – By Survey Question Answered

#5. This means that  Calibrated Business Capabilities is less important than Integrated Business Functions. The symptoms are:

  • You are far more interested in preserving our business function’s authority than you are in creating aligned and well balanced business capabilities.

  • When you realign across business functions you do not enable better calibrated business capabilities, because you do not drive and measure the customer outcomes.   

  • A vast majority of people are not personally invested in the design of your organization, for the growth of customer minded collaboration and calibration, and are unwilling to personally lead change from their seat when the time comes.

#6. This means that a Human-Centric Organization is less important than a Self-Preserving Organization The symptoms are:

  • You are not focused on using customer and market opportunities to intentionally seed experiences that grow our people and their understanding of the market, even through growing people we grow your ability to innovate and make a deeper market impact.

  • When you promote individuals you don’t reward top performers who were able to anchor their success in bringing people together through the reduction of departmental self-interest.

  • People are not willing to put themselves and their ideas second when someone of equal or lower position in the organization has a better idea.  


All of the challenges captured within this Built to Compete Quadrant™ report can be turned around with greater alignment, but they are the types of issues which are going to lead to further degeneration if not addressed. The typical result of this degeneration is the risk of falling out of rhythm with the customer and market.

This can come in the form of external disruption or a self-inflicted internal disruption, if the state of the company or line of business’s response capability regresses. In most cases this ultimately impacts a company’s sense capability, as it becomes a greater struggle to stay ahead or catch up to existing / rising competition.

With our consultation, your organization can implement a strategy to become pivot-enabled and, therefore, adhere to the tenets of the Agile Business Manifesto.

Please contact me directly to answer your questions.

Contact Bill Walton, Principal  C: 917.439.3271  E: bill@agilebridgesolutions.com

Contact Bill Walton, Principal

C: 917.439.3271

E: bill@agilebridgesolutions.com