The Business Agility Institute® is a fiercely independent research & advocacy organization for the next generation of companies.
We drive industry change through applied research, pragmatic guidance, and building networks of individuals and organizations. Our goal is your success, no matter what the future brings.
We believe the businesses of tomorrow are agile, innovative, and resilient – perfectly designed to thrive in increasingly unpredictable markets.
At the Business Agility Institute®, we exist to elevate and empower your organization through agility. We want to help you;
We will help you unlock your organization’s potential to thrive in uncertainty, and to give you independent guidance and purposeful next steps when new approaches are necessary. We are not a consulting or training firm... so, what are we?
The Business Agility Institute® is a community of businesses, change agents, and leaders joining together to create a better future of work. We support organizations, teams, and individuals breaking away from traditional business models by providing the primary research, connections, information, insights, and inspiration required to try something different and embrace a customer-driven world of fast-paced change.
We are a team of researchers and storytellers. We investigate and tell the stories of businesses, organizations and teams who have survived the flood of change by pursuing new approaches to business. Our research includes every aspect of organizations, including finance, marketing, sales, and support. Perhaps most importantly, we bring focus to the people in business. From individual contributors to leaders, managers, executives and boards of directors - each of us has a vital role to play in creating a resilient future world of work.
Here's how we started.
In 2016, BAI co-founder Evan Leybourn – then working as a consultant for IBM- travelled to Bangalore, India, to speak at the Agile India conference. After his presentation, he sat down for tea with a friend, Ellen Grove, and lamented the lack of conferences, resources, and overall awareness for business agility.
Her response: “Why don’t you create one, then?” It was only a playful dare, but it lit a spark in Evan that would soon bloom into the first global Business Agility Conference.
Evan’s initial vision for the conference was to inspire attendees by bringing together 20-minute "art of the possible" talks and facilitated dialogues. But he couldn’t do it alone.
Enter Ahmed Sidky, the president of the International Consortium for Agile, and a passionate Agile practitioner and advocate. Evan approached Ahmed for support, and the two quickly realised they shared a vision for what Agile could provide to the world. With ICAgile providing sponsorship and hosting, the first Business Agility Conference was up and running.
The first conference – held in Times Square, the beating heart of New York - was an overwhelming success. Even so, Evan and Ahmed knew there was more to be done. To continue the work the conference had started, they founded the Business Agility Institute®: part membership organization, part think-tank. Their shared goal was bring together people who believed in the vision of the conference and wanted to see more business agility in the world. They launched the Business Agility Library soon after, collecting a free and independent body of knowledge of business agility case studies, reference guides, videos, and more.
Ahmed and Evan expanded the conference model throughout 2017, running events in 11 countries, including Australia, India, Austria, and Hong Kong. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the Business Agility Institute® was in a process of radical evolution.
Once again, it was Bangalore that gave Evan the spark of inspiration. After hearing corporate author and consultant Linda Rising speak at Agile India about the lack of trusted, verifiable, and accessible research around business agility - “the plural of anecdote is not data,” she lamented - Evan realized the Business Agility Institute® could fill the gap.
He immediately set out to create an independent research body inside the BAI, who would investigate topics relevant to the Business Agility community. As of 2021, this research body has expanded to 14 teams exploring the problems facing businesses today.
Evan and Ahmed’s original mission when they founded the BAI was to support and enable business owners and Business Agility professionals around the world. By 2018, it was clear that they needed to decentralize to reach and assist more people. As such, the BAI introduced a new model of global learning: Chapters.
Business Agility Institute® Chapters are local non-profit organizations that share the BAI global mission. Each chapter is established as an independent non-profit body, dedicated to assisting and uplifting their local Business Agility community. However, no matter what path each chapter takes, they’re always part of a global, supportive family.
In a world of increasing turbulence and uncertainty – uncertainty that shows no signs of slowing – the BAI lives by its principles of agility. In 2020, Evan and Ahmed re-evaluated the Institute’s priorities and began searching for new ways to assist "journey companies" find paths out of crisis. The result was the Certified Agile Organization™ program, an independent and in-depth view on the progress of a company's business agility journey.
Evan and Ahmed have also continued looking for the best ways to get high-quality research into the hands of Business Agility practitioners around the world. As such, they launched a publishing imprint to create new books on business transformations, as well as the quarterly business agility journal Emergence.
These new initiatives are only small steps on a life-long journey of helping business around the globe build agility and resilience. Together with global partners and their network of independent Chapters, the Business Agility Institute® continues to be a friend and advocate for hundreds companies across the world.
Do you want to know more?