The Strategic Agility Institute™ (SAI) began as a concept in 2003 and has evolved into a collaborative, global effort.
In 2001, after a long career in senior human resources, talent management and consulting roles, Nick Horney, Ph.D., started the firm Agility Consulting & Training LLC. Shortly thereafter, Certified Management Consultant and fellow senior business leader Tom O'Shea merged his consulting practice with Nick's growing firm. While both Nick and Tom both placed the highest priority on meeting their clients' immediate needs, they also recognized the need for building the research base and knowledge around the concept of agility.
With that goal in mind, The SAI™ began. It has continued as an effort initiated by Agility Consulting & Training, comprising a warehouse of knowledge and research reports--many of which the firm hosted on its website. Agility Consulting & Training continued to grow throughout the next decade, expanding its capacity through a global networks of affiliates.
During the early 2000s, Nick and Tom continued to see the need for an increased emphasis upon agility in the marketplace. Leaders in organizations of all types--small, large, for-profit, nonprofit, government and others--were facing unprecedented levels of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. With increasing frequency, those leaders were coming to Agility Consulting and Training for help in becoming more agile.
Because of those continued demands, direct work with clients remained the top priority. The SAI™ continued in concept and spirit, but it did not reach the level of potential that Nick and Tom both envisioned. For both of them, The SAI™ could be a true global resource, a community of business leaders, academics and other curious people who wanted to grow together in the science and practice of agility.
In 2014, Nick and Tom brought two additional agility experts into the Agility Consulting & Training family to serve in a capacity beyond that of their robust community of experts who serve as affiliates of the firm.
Mike Richardson has been a leading agility facilitator, mentor and coach since 2002, recognized as a thought leader cracking the code of agility for ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things, making possible tomorrow what seems impossible today. He is a world-leading specialist in agile decision making and helping teams master the agility challenge of “C2C: Conversation-Flow to Cash-Flow” in an increasingly volatile world.
Originally from the United Kingdom, Mike is now a U.S. citizen based in San Diego, where he is active in the community and serves on numerous boards. He is author of the book Wheel$pin: The Agile Executive’s Manifesto. He is one of the most award winning and tenured peer-group facilitating Chairs and Resource-Speakers with Vistage International, the world’s leading membership organization of CEOs. He has chaired more than 500 peer group meetings and 1,500 one-to-one coaching sessions with CEOs and senior executives. He is one of Vistage’s most in-demand resource-speakers, nationally and internationally, and is recognized as the thought-leading agility expert in the global Vistage community of 17,000 members in 17 countries.
Ben Baran, Ph.D., had been an affiliate of Agility Consulting & Training since 2010 prior to becoming a formal part of the firm along with Mike. Also an award-winning professor of management and organizational behavior at Northern Kentucky University, Ben was the 2012 recipient of the Haile/US Bank College of Business Dean’s Citation for Outstanding Teaching. As a coach and facilitator, Ben specializes on developing agility action teams in support of large-scale organizational transformations.
Ben’s research on various topics within organizational behavior has appeared or is forthcoming in a number of scholarly journals, including Human Relations, the Journal of Business and Psychology, the Journal of Managerial Psychology, the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Small Group Research, Accident Analysis and Prevention and Military Psychology, among others. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Business and Psychology. When not collaborating with dynamos of the academic and business worlds, Ben serves as a lieutenant commander in the U. S. Navy Reserve and has led teams from the Arabian Gulf to Afghanistan. Recalled to active military service in 2012, he served as a management and training consultant to the Afghan National Police in Kabul, Afghanistan, from December 2012 to December 2013.
In 2015, Nick, Tom, Mike and Ben decided that the time was right to take The SAI™ to the next level.
Because so many leaders, teams and organizations need agility, it makes sense for a center for evolving thought and practice to exist. The SAI™ will fulfill that need, and we're getting started right away.
That's not all, though.
We want to start working on a number of initiatives, including (but not limited to) curating an active blog, writing newsletter and journal articles, and various other initiatives that will promote the science and practice of agility for leaders, teams and organizations.