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The performance triangle: a model for corporate agility

Herbert Nold (School of Business Administration, Polk State College, Lakeland, Florida, USA)
Lukas Michel (Research and Development, AgilityINsights/Sphere Advisors AG, Zurich, Switzerland)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 3 May 2016



The purpose of this paper is to synthesize ten years of case studies and data analysis from which emerged an organizational design that facilitates adaptability, agility, and resilience. The resulting triangular model of culture, leadership, and systems is proposed.


Analysis of over 100 case studies over ten years along with statistical analysis of survey data from 50 of those companies resulted in the emergence the triangular model and provides quantitative support for validity.


People drive a complex and dynamic system with culture, leadership, and systems as key factors driving organizational success in a rapidly changing environment. The critical factor in adapting to change is designing organizations to maximize the vast tacit knowledge base within organizations. Diagnostic tools are necessary to identify underlying strengths and weaknesses to initiate targeted discussions and provide a baseline for measurement.

Research limitations/implications

All of the organizations were from Europe, Africa, or the Middle East.

Practical implications

The emergent people-centric triangular model with culture, leadership, and systems at the points along with the development of a diagnostic tool offers a methodology for executives to gain valuable insight into critical elements of their organizations from which to initiate constructive dialogue leading to effective action.


Many authors have offered theories on developing agile organizations. The emergent people-centric performance triangle and evolving diagnostic instrument add to the body of existing literature and lays the groundwork for practical tools and methods to yield practical results.



Nold, H. and Michel, L. (2016), "The performance triangle: a model for corporate agility", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 37 No. 3, pp. 341-356.



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