Agility is not understood here in the sense of agile concepts which refer to action consequences and -patterns. Here, agility is perceived as the potential of a system to respond effectively to current situations. The characteristic of this agile potential is that who knows the solution is not predetermined (“The boss knows that!”), what it consists of is open, and time pressure is regarded as of value (“Change at the last minute? We are up for that!”).
Therefore, people, teams, as well as organisations can have an agile potential. Agility is thus a phenomenon which stands in the centre of the guiding process dealing with the past. Agility is close to the concept of willingness to learn. It is important to note that willingness to learn is not a normative, one-sided focus on learning, but rather, the willingness to check (!) whether one ought to learn or not. Agile potential, paradoxically formulated, means that one can decide to act, not with agility but with consistency. Therefore, agility also needs to decide what should be held stable with regard to processes, structures and personnel, as well as how and what should become dynamic. From a meta-theoretical perspective, it is more than problematic to equate agile with ‘fast’ or ‘flexible.
Nevertheless, the boom in agile concepts has contributed to decision patterns being disrupted in many guiding processes, and that new alternatives are seen as serious and constructive in organisations. This is a helpful development. Agile potential gives the classical hierarchy another function, which engages less with directing, generating solutions and controls, but more with creating conflict resolutions and framework conditions which make decisions about guiding processes better.