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Think Agile

Book Description

Funding falls apart. A similar product is unveiled by a more established company. A key employee jumps ship to work for a competitor. These are the unexpected obstacles that derail even the most promising new ventures. Entrepreneurs determined to keep up with today’s constantly changing business environment need to stay nimble enough to shift their strategies, products, and services on a dime. Yet many fail to master this essential new mindset: agility.

Featuring real-life case studies and invaluable tools, Think Agile helps entrepreneurs assess their level of flexibility—and learn to be open-minded and option-oriented in key areas including:

Funding sources • Launch timetables • Planning • Repurposing everything from products to people to names • And more

When entrepreneurs lock themselves into one strategy, one product, one distribution method—and one way of thinking about their business—they limit their potential, and lower their chances of capitalizing on economic, industry, or market changes. Think Agile is an indispensable guide to an undeniably essential new skill.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Introduction
    1. Chapter 1: Agility in Turbulent Times
      1. Nothing Stays the Same for Long
      2. Surprises and Complexity
      3. The More Things Change, the More Entrepreneurs Thrive
      4. Ignore the Past at Your Peril
      5. Putting Concepts into Action
    2. Chapter 2: Reaping the Benefits of Agility
      1. Pivoting to Make Effective and Efficient Decisions
      2. Cultivating a Flexible Mindset to Overcome Indecision
      3. Opening Up a Universe of Possibilities
      4. Rebounding from Mistakes and Failures
      5. Adapting to Changing Times
      6. Considering Diverse Approaches to Funding
      7. Increasing Speed of Action through Agility
      8. Putting Concepts into Action
    3. Chapter 3: Assessing Your Agility
      1. Unconscious Reliance on the Tried and True
      2. Assessing Your Fear of Failure
      3. Developing an Awareness of Rigid and Agile Tendencies
      4. Putting Concepts into Action
    1. Chapter 4: Planning for the Unexpected, Preparing for the Unpredictable
      1. Allowing for Flexibility and Vision in Your Business Plan
      2. How Good Outcomes Can Result When Plans Are Flexible
      3. Thinking Ahead with a Plan B … and C and D
      4. Preparing for the Unpredictable
      5. Putting Concepts into Action
    2. Chapter 5: Exercising Funding and Financial Options
      1. Becoming Aware of Funding Options
      2. Fighting Financial Biases and Reassessing Prior Funding Methods
      3. Managing the Dilution-Valuation Paradox
      4. Stretching Your Cash Reserves
      5. Planning an Exit Strategy
      6. Putting Concepts into Action
    3. Chapter 6: Working with Various Deadlines and Milestones
      1. Identifying Deadlines Entrepreneurs Face, and Determining Their Flexibility
      2. Learning to Work with Various Deadline Mentalities
      3. Avoiding Date Inflation
      4. Negotiating Imposed Deadlines
      5. Keeping Your Ego in Check
      6. Putting Concepts into Action
    4. Chapter 7: Repurposing Products, Services, and People
      1. Introducing Three Categories of What May Be Repurposed, Plus One
      2. Paying Attention to Unexpected Possibilities
      3. Using Change as a Catalyst for Repurposing
      4. The Three Rs of Repurposing: Repositioning, Redirecting, and Rejuvenating
      5. Licensing Tactics
      6. Putting Concepts into Action
    5. Chapter 8: Overcoming Entrepreneurial Inflexibility
      1. Conquering Factors That Can Lead to Inflexibility
      2. Vanquishing a Disheartening Business Failure
      3. Getting Beyond the “Foolproof Formula”
      4. Surmounting Complacency After Sustained Success
      5. Surviving Personal Financial Problems
      6. Shaking Competitive Lethargy
      7. Defeating Crippling Indecisiveness
      8. Refusing to Get Stuck in the Past
      9. Putting Concepts into Action
    1. Chapter 9: Learning How to Lead and Manage with an Open Mind
      1. Practicing Managerial Creativity
      2. Knowing What You Don’t Know and What You Do Know
      3. Best Practices of Agile Leaders
      4. Developing a Team Mentality
      5. Deciding When It’s Time for Leadership Change
      6. Putting Concepts into Action
    2. Chapter 10: Stretching Toward the Future
      1. Tracking Four Key Trends
      2. Adapting to Mind-Boggling Innovations
      3. Moving from Rugged Individualism to Collaborative Mindset
      4. Becoming an Information Magnet
      5. Putting Concepts into Action
  10. Index
  11. About the Author
  12. Free Sample Chapter from The Art of War for Small Business by Becky Sheetz-Runkle