The agility mirror for scientifically-oriented teams

I came across the ‘50 million timeframe’ concept during a recent read of a Women on Board article[1] aimed at ‘digital-ready’ Board Directors. Here it is…

“… It took:

a.    40 years to get 50 million radios on earth.

b.    14 years to get 50 million TVs.

c.    1 year to get 50 million Facebook accounts.

d.    4 months for 50 million WeChat accounts.”


Relevant to organisational vision and strategy, yes.

Relevant to commercially-oriented functions, yes.

Relevant to scientifically-oriented functions within the therapeutics and wellness sectors?  Absolutely.

Functions like Regulatory Affairs, Medical Affairs, Clinical Research and others are often described by their organisational counterparts as being slow, overly conservative and resistant to changing organisational priorities.

So let’s get a little scientific (or somewhat mathematical) about agility…

  • Agility ⇒ being quick and nimble, adjusting to changing priorities without ‘drag’
  • Agility ⇏ disregard for compliance
  • Agility + other team attributes = effective business partnering.

So I challenge you to hold up your agility mirror in the context of your team’s performance.

Three questions to ask yourself when holding up the agility mirror

  • How is your function often described by others?
  • What are your top three operational bottleneck or ‘drag’ areas?
  • What is your team’s collective agility profile?

[1] May 2019, The Digital Director – Are you ready? Nicole Donegan, COO, Women on Boards

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