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An Interview with Business Agility 2020 Speaker: Sally Elatta

Sally Elatta, Brittany Baker

February 19, 2020

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Sally Elatta, President and Founder of AgilityHealth, has no hesitation when it comes to delving into complex business agility transformations. 

“I'm really comfortable with large-scale transformations in large enterprises that feel very complex,” she shared. “I’m actually really comfortable with that!”

But in 2019, she found herself in the middle of a different kind of transformation: a political revolution in her home country, Sudan.“

The revolution in Sudan started because we had a 30 year dictatorship. Something like 60% of the Sudanese population is less than 30 years old, and they just said, ‘enough is enough.’ And so they started a revolution,” she shared. “It was a peaceful, nonviolent revolution. They were not armed, but they went out to the streets and said, ‘enough is enough, we're done.”

For Sally, watching from the sidelines was not an option, especially considering the movement was led in large part by women.

“It was hard to watch my home country go through a once-in-a-lifetime revolution and not get engaged,” she shared. “But, going into nations, transforming a country in areas that might not be my expertise such as economy, healthcare, food, civic society . . . these are just areas that I don't have a background in. It was really kind of intimidating.”

It was her skills and insight as a business agility transformation leader that ultimately gave her the confidence to move forward. She established Sudan NextGen, an organization with a vision to transform and leapfrog Sudan in pursuit of becoming a leading country in Africa. Sudan NextGen aims to bring together experts from inside and outside the country to achieve fast, tangible results through the NextGen platform Sally built.

“If you can focus on taking a vision--whether it's a country vision or a business vision--and enabling an organization to actually make the vision real as quickly as possible . . . that is what enables business agility,” she shared. “The core skills of being a change agent, of thinking with a lean mindset, of driving towards business or government or national priorities and getting outcomes achieved . . . those really transcend our industry.”

At Business Agility 2020, Sally will share her journey with Sudan NextGen, what she learned from the process, and how fellow business agilists can take their skills and apply them to the issues that matter most. 

“I can talk about complex transformations, but this is very personal to me,” she shared. “What I realized is, I have to find that confidence. I have to believe in myself. I actually wear a bracelet that says, ‘She believed she could, so she did.’ I've been wearing that bracelet for many months now because I kept going back to, if you believe that you can, then you will.”

Hear the full story at Business Agility 2020.

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