Introducing Talking Agility: A Financial Services Podcast from Accenture
We spend a lot of time looking at innovation, disruption and agility. No single person has all the answers––achieving agility isn’t something that’s easily solved and it doesn’t happen overnight. But through candid conversation with our colleagues and clients, we’re able to dig into and learn about the most significant trends in the industry, the impact they’re likely to have, and how to survive and thrive in a disrupted world.
We’re excited to share these conversations with you.
Talking Agility is a new podcast from Accenture’s Talent & Organization for Financial Services that will delve into some of these big ideas. It’s hosted by my colleague, Elitsa Nacheva, a management consultant based in London who specializes in change management and transformations with particular focus on agile and agility. I was fortunate to have the chance to chat with her recently about what we can expect from this new series.
I started off by asking her: Why a podcast?
Elitsa Nacheva: Podcasts have recently become one of my favourite ways to get information. They’re portable, on-demand, and focused on the topics I care about most. Everyone is talking about agility and the more we speak to clients and colleagues about the topic, the more angles and dimensions we see.
Andy Young: Where did your interest in agility come from? Perhaps you can tell your future listeners a bit about yourself…
Elitsa: A bit about me… I’m originally from Bulgaria, but I have always thought the world is my ‘oyster’. When I was sixteen I spent a year in the US as an international student, then I went on to pursue a double major in economics and business administration at the American University in Bulgaria. I worked in the US, lived in Prague, and chose rainy Nottingham to do my master’s degree in management at the Business School. I have been with Accenture for a number of years now and have specialised in talent and organisation within financial services. Outside of work, I’m an avid wine connoisseur and looking to do my intermediate certificate soon, while also attempting to restart my painting hobby!
I’m a learner at heart and enjoy reading business books. I first came across the concept of the agile organisation when I was reading Lean Enterprise: How High-Performance Organisations Innovate at Scale. Interestingly, my earlier studies at one stage focused on lead users of 3D design and printing. I noticed their agile behavior and ways of working: seeking feedback through online platforms, failing fast by printing minimum viable products and improving their designs by collaborating and learning from the industry––an interesting example of a ‘sharing economy’. Often when I think about what it means to ‘be agile’ I find myself drawing parallels to that research.
Later, at Accenture, I worked with an international bank, helping them start their agile transformation journey. That’s when I took a keen interest in the topic of agility.
Andy Young: Enterprise agility is a huge topic, isn’t it? There’s the digital and technology side, big shifts in products and services, agility within the organization, leadership, and workforce, and of course culture and working practices are at the heart of it all.
Elitsa: There’s a lot to talk about! We’ll explore every angle of enterprise agility––what it is, why it matters, why it’s so elusive and, most of all, how to achieve it. Transforming for agility requires change at every level, starting with how to ‘be agile’ before ‘doing agile’. So while we’ll tackle each topic on its own, I think we’ll also start to see how the components are connected.
Andy: Yes, exactly! One thing I was concerned about is all the hype around agile and agility. Please tell me we’re going to avoid playing buzzword bingo?
Elitsa: Yes––definitely no buzzwords. That’s why I like this format. We’re having real conversations with real people in a candid setting. We want to bring the voices and ideas of our guests to the audience in a genuine way.
Everyone is busy. Our clients are and we are too. That’s why we’re meeting our guests where they are, all over the world, not bringing them into the studio. They’re joining us from client sites, from the airport, or while grabbing a quick cup of coffee. Similarly, Talking Agility will meet you where you are, whether you’re commuting in to work or grabbing 30 minutes on the treadmill.
So, here’s what I’m excited about: honest and frank discussions about enterprise agility. I truly believe it’s the most pressing issue for today’s organizations.
Andy: I’m looking forward to seeing this take off.
Elitsa: Me too. You’re one of our first guests!
There will be a new episode of Talking Agility every two weeks. You can hear a preview and subscribe here Accenture.com/talkingagility.
Episodes of Talking Agility can be found here: Accenture.com/talkingagility, as well as on iTunes or Soundcloud, where you can subscribe so you never miss an important discussion. The website is also a hub `for the show, where you can reach us and our guests to further engage with enterprise agility.
We’re really excited to hear comments, questions and suggestions for the show––or how your own agility journey is going––and we encourage you to get in touch.