Enterprise Agility: Becoming the Apex Predator How to Avoid Being Eaten Alive

Thursday, October 22, 2020
John Stenbeck

John Stenbeck



John Stenbeck joined us for our latest CEOtoCEO livestream event: Enterprise Agility: Becoming the Apex Predator. John is an expert in enterprise agility and 3-time Amazon Bestselling Author. He is a sought-after keynote speaker and consultant for companies such as Nike, Hewlett Packard, Oracle, and many more.

John highlights how tech giants have altered the market for success by placing the emphasis on customer satisfaction by allowing the customer to determine how a product is valuable to them. Companies need to shift the metric of success to ask themselves "how are my customers measuring my value?" John emphasizes that every industry is vulnerable to the intrusion of a new apex predator. He uses the example of Uber invading the market that cab drivers had thought was safe because of laws and regulations governing the industry. Now, Uber has transitioned from the apex predator to prey as autonomous vehicles are disrupting the market.

Your company needs to measure its success by communicating with your customers and be willing to dive into uncertainty. John characterizes this as the "cone of uncertainty" and emphasizes the goal of communication is the shrink the cone of uncertainty and create agility through systemic and systematic growth.

Systemic Agility:

At the strategic level, the minute details of a new venture cannot be determined prior to its launch. Sometimes, further information can only be gathered one to two months after a new venture. "You have to systemically embrace that at the beginning there is risk, complexity and uncertainty in the drive to achieve enterprise agility" said John. He notes an effective way to do this is to AMP (autonomy, mastery, purpose) your team to electrify your results and put voltage into your company.

  • A - Autonomy: Create levels of autonomy where customer facing employees can make decisions
  • M - Mastery: Employees demonstrate mastery of the material in order to earn autonomy
  • P - Purpose: The CEO clearly and effectively communicates the goals and purpose to promote employee buy-in that translates to customers.

John gave the example of Apple's venture into iPads as an example of enterprise agility by listening to their customers. Tablets were already on the market when Apple released the iPad. Other manufacturers were developing tablets with the intention of replacing the function of the desktop with a tablet. Apple utilized the data from their app store to understood that the metric for customer satisfaction was not based on a device that would replace the desktop, but rather a device that would bridge the gap between a phone screen and a desktop. Apple now dominates the tablet market with iPads because they understood the customer was deciding the metrics for success by communicating with their customer base, demonstrating a willingness to embrace uncertainty, and allowing a systemic by developing a product unlike what was already on the market.

Systematic Agility:

As the CEO you have to have a vocabulary framework and lexicon in order to effectively communicate throughout the systematic structure of your company. John provided detailed diagrams and examples that are available for distribution. If you are interested in one of John's slides send an email to (insert correct email here). John said, "As the CEO we have to start getting realistic we have to show that we are capable of embracing a systemic agility mindset and that we will abide by the systematic parts of achieving enterprise agility." Part of this is accepting the uncertainty while working to narrow the cone of uncertainty in a realistic timeframe. Giving people reasonable and rational approaches and achievable goals will keep everyone "AMPed up.

To get access to the content available for this event become a Premium CEOtoCEO Subscriber

The Premium Subscription for 12 months is $49.95

Your Subscription will include registration for all CEOtoCEO events and provides you unlimited access to the CEOtoCEO on-demand video replay library for a 12-month period

Subscribe Today

Platinum Sponsors

Western Washington Sponsors

Eastern Washington Sponsors