Neil Perkin

Founder, Only Dead Fish

Neil is founder of Only Dead Fish, a strategic digital consultancy. He is also a renowned conference curator – he curates Firestarters, a regular thought leadership event, on behalf of Google, and also curated previous editions of Dots in partnership with the Brilliant Noise team.

Neil’s much anticipated book ‘Building The Agile Business’ was published in April 2017 and provides an essential guide for leaders to achieving greater organisational agility and digital transformation.
Building the agile business

In the digital-native world it's not enough to be fast, according to author Neil Perkin.

True organisational agility is founded in manoeuvrability and responsiveness, Dots speaker Neil Perkin explained when he took to the stage. What’s more, there’s a need for a new approach to leadership and culture that can support momentum for change.

However, three types of problems can stop change happening: simple problems, complicated problems and complex problems. Solving simple problems is like following a recipe, whereas complicated problems are like sending a rocket to the moon – they need high levels of expertise and processes can be repeated. On the other hand, complex problems are like raising a child, where even high levels of expertise can mean nothing because the outcome can’t be guessed.

And it’s really these complex problems that stop change in business, because the context of the problem keeps changing. In his talk, Neil explained that there are three main things brands need for agile change management projects.

Fast: the ability to build up speed, maneuverability and responsiveness, rather than just pace. Strategy is a circular, adaptive concept when dealing with rapidly changing environments.

Focused: stay agile in the way you focus around a central theme or idea. If we focus on the technology we’re in danger of forgetting about the mindset and people. Organisations need to be prepared for disruption and innovation.

Flexible: confirmation bias isn’t good; neither is embracing failure. Sprint planning in agile culture means you embed learning in your working process.