The Prime Directive: Anchor Point of the Business Agility Manifesto
The Business Agility Manifesto kicks off with a statement it calls the Prime Directive: "All initiatives must demonstrably align with the Management Imperatives." Why is that important?
The Prime Directive is the anchor point of the Manifesto and a key determinant of the shape it took. It's the way you demonstrate the Manifesto is solidly grounded in reality.
Let me put it this way. Today you hear a lot of discussion about how to flatten organizational hierarchies. About servant leadership. Self-organizing teams. Teams of teams.
At the extreme, radical proponents of blockchain distributed ledgers and smart contracts even suggest that ultimately it might be possible for corporations to disappear altogether. At that point we reach a nirvana where everyone is a free agent creating value.
It's time here for a healthy dose of reality. Yes, corporations are in a period of rapid transformation, but let me assure you they are not going to disappear. Corporations will continue to own and protect assets for the foreseeable future.
Owning assets means you need authority. Needing authority means you need executive management. Future management structures may not be shaped or act at all like today's, but executive management will continue to exist. Count on it.
So anything you say about business agility must be aligned with responsibility for protecting and managing assets. Otherwise you are just kidding yourself. You are dealing only in surface effects.
The Manifesto material therefore takes the crucial step of elaborating the responsibilities of executive management in what it calls the Management Imperatives. There are no real surprises in it, just the deep grounding needed to ensure proper orientation in identifying the principles by which you should operate.
The Manifesto elaborates what those principles are. If you want to argue with them, first you need to contest the Management Imperatives. You can try if you like, but frankly I think they are unassailable. It's just reality.
 The Business Agility Manifesto: Building for Change, by Roger T. Burlton, Ronald G. Ross, and John A. Zachman, (2017) https://busagilitymanifesto.org/
 General Management Imperatives: Business Basis for The Business Agility Manifesto, by Roger T. Burlton, Ronald G. Ross, and John A. Zachman, (2017) https://busagilitymanifesto.org/management-imperatives
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