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Business agility intermediate

Discover frameworks and tools for developing business agility in leadership, culture, people, strategy, and governance. Created with agility experts, the Agile Business Consortium, you’ll explore the skills and competencies of agile leaders, how to assess and improve agility in an organisation’s culture and foster teamwork and collaboration. You’ll also consider how agile strategy and governance are used to plan, execute, and guide business agility. By reflecting on your own role in business agility, you’ll identify how to apply your new skills, including the steps you can take towards agile leadership and ways to influence the culture around you.

Standalone study only

You will not be awarded credits for studying this course. It is available for standalone study only and cannot be counted towards an OU qualification.

Short course

Short course code

YG020

Credits

This is a non-credit bearing course.

Study method

Short course cost

Entry requirements

What you will study

In this intermediate-level course, you’ll be introduced to ‘how to’ approaches that will help you foster business agility to improve performance, add value, and deliver positive outcomes for your organisation. Practical exercises will help you to apply your new knowledge, and the social learning approach will empower you to further enhance and reflect on your understanding by sharing your thoughts and opinions with co-learners.

Delivered over four, easy-to-digest sections, you will cover:

1: Agile leadership

  • Characteristics that allow leaders to work in an agile way 
  • Theories, frameworks, models, and perspectives to support business agility and agile leadership 
  • How to bring about a leadership style change and become a change agent 
  • Why communication is vital for agile leadership and ways to develop communication skills 
  • How to develop your reflective practice and self-awareness needed to become an agile leader 

2: Agile culture

  • Different perspectives on organisational culture 
  • The impact of different influences on organisational cultures and subcultures 
  • Ways to assess and analyse organisational culture and how to interpret results 
  • How to assess an organisation’s readiness towards an agile culture using a Pulse Survey based on the Agile Business Consortium’s Development Matrix for Agile Culture 
  • Practical ideas for how to influence the culture around you 

3: Agile people

  • People-centric approaches to business agility 
  • Conditions and skills to support groups and self-organising teams 
  • Learning tools and frameworks such as the SOLO taxonomy and the 5WH framework 
  • Approaches to increase your understanding of the customer 
  • Practical approaches to learning and reflection to increase self-awareness 

4: Agile strategy and governance

  • Challenges and conditions needed to create a change towards agile working in an organisation 
  • How to plan for and monitor risks using analysis of data 
  • How to use the Business Agility Canvas analysis and planning tool 
  • How to use the Organisational Ecocycle framework 
  • How agile organisations can continually check progress against their strategies. 

You will learn

By the end of the course, you’ll have the skills to:

  • apply theories, frameworks, and models of business agility
  • investigate and reflect on the impact of leadership and change on organisational culture
  • investigate the importance of organisational culture and how it can be influenced
  • summarise the case for a people-centric approach to organisational working and develop skills to support this
  • explore what agile strategy and governance is and how it can support better organisational performance
  • identify next steps and the key actions you will take towards becoming more agile.

Vocational relevance

Business agility is an important skill in today's job market because of the increasing complexity and unpredictability of the business environment. Businesses need to adapt quickly and efficiently to survive and thrive. Business agility is becoming a highly valued skill and employers are looking for individuals who can help their organisations stay ahead of the competition, innovate, and navigate complex challenges.

This course has been created by the OU in collaboration with industry experts, the Agile Business Consortium, the global professional body for Business Agility, who have unrivalled expertise in the field.

Learner support

There is no tuition on this course and all study is self-directed. Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to enhance and reflect on your understanding by sharing your thoughts and opinions with co-learners.

Teaching and assessment

Assessment

This online course is delivered via social learning and includes video, audio, and written tutorials. You can learn at your own pace with complete flexibility. Throughout the course, you will be asked to respond to questions, reflect on your experiences and learning, and carry out short exercises to help you develop your understanding.

At the end of each section, you will be asked to answer a set of multiple-choice questions to test your knowledge. You can attempt these as often as you need to. It is important to complete them because they count towards your final score.

To receive a Certificate of Completion, you will need to complete every section and achieve at least 70% in all tests.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations, which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.


Entry requirements

This course is for anyone with a basic understanding of business agility gained through prior experience or study e.g. our Business agility foundations short course.

Some workplace and/or team-based experience will help you understand the content of the course in the context of a working organisation (of any size, sector, or industry).

It’s suitable for those who want to deepen their understanding of business agility frameworks and tools to develop ways to survive and thrive in complex and uncertain environments. It's also helpful for those looking to broaden their skillset and develop their own practical business agility for current and/or future roles.

The content in this course is suitable for a global audience and the skills you learn can be applied in a wide range of roles and types of organisations, whether in the public or third sector, large corporates, or SMEs.

If you'd like to discuss the suitability of the course, please contact us.

Course length

This course will take around 48 hours to complete and you can learn at your own pace. As a guide, if you set aside four hours per week, it would take twelve weeks to complete.

You can begin learning at any time. You will have a minimum of six months and up to 18 months to complete the course, depending on your registration date.

Register

Start End England fee Register
At anytime before registration end date Jan 2025 - see Entry requirements for more detail £200.00

Registration closes 31/07/2024

Register

Ways to pay

Credit/Debit Card – We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron.

Sponsorship – If this course is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could ask your employer to sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. Your sponsor just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.

The fee information provided here is valid for short courses starting in the 2023/24 academic year. Fees normally increase annually. For further information about the University's fee policy, visit our Fee Rules.

Can you study an Access module for free?

In order to qualify, you must:

  1. be resident in England
  2. have a personal income of less than £25,000 (or receive qualifying benefits)
  3. have not completed one year or more on any full-time undergraduate programme at FHEQ level 4 or above, or completed 30 credits or more of OU study

How to apply to study an Access module for free

Once you've started the registration process, either online or over the phone, we'll contact you about your payment options. This will include instructions on how you can apply to study for free if you are eligible.

If you're unsure if you meet the criteria to study for free, you can check with one of our friendly advisers on +44 (0)300 303 0069 or you can request a call back.

Not eligible to study for free?

Don't worry! We offer a choice of flexible ways to help spread the cost of your Access module. The most popular options include:

  • monthly payments through OUSBA
  • part-time tuition fee loan (you'll need to be registered on a qualification for this option)

To explore all the options available to you, visit Fees and Funding.

What's included

All learning materials, exercises and activities are delivered entirely online.

Computing requirements

You can learn from your desktop computer or laptop or take your learning with you on a phone or tablet. You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop/laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS (Monterey or higher. Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all currently supported Android and iOS versions.

If you have a disability

The course is delivered online and makes use of a variety of online resources. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet, you can contact us about the support which can be given to meet your needs.