The ERP Organizational Change Journal

Episode 59:

Agile ERP Transformation & Enabling New Ways of Working

by | May 17, 2022

About this Episode

In today’s episode, we discuss “ERP Organizational Change: Agile and New Ways of Working” with Mr. Karl Smith. We explore business agility and what it means exactly to be agile.

The human element” is critical to any successful organizational change effort. We explore how the principles of Agile can be successfully leveraged towards new ways of working, productivity, performance improvement, and organizational change success. Please join us as we discuss Business Agility, Agile, Future of Work, and New Ways of Working.

Karl Smith

Karl Smith

Karl Smith works globally with directors, stakeholders and customers of multinational enterprises across all verticals and technology stacks whose focus is on new concepts and capabilities that drive customer engagement, interaction and retention.

Karl mainly focuses on customer experience engagement and management in both B2B and B2C sectors. He works with directors and stakeholders whose focus is increasing efficiency, transaction frequency and accuracy through the provision of knowledge driven, context focused, user-centered and responsive, future proofed (IoT, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence), progressive interactive organisational change, innovative business processes and technology systems.

He is involved in defining new business concepts, strategies, requirements, governance (ISO/IEC 38500) and solutions that support businesses and organisations involved in transforming themselves to be adaptive and future proof themselves for market disruption.

More about Karl


He started out with a degree in design, post graduate in design education and in 2006 completed a master’s in computer science to validate his existing highly technical (but self taught) enterprise technology knowledge and experience. Starting in Usability in 1998 the diagnostic aspect of what was later called UX he has a wide knowledge of design techniques and methodologies including service design, design thinking, UX, CX, product design (physical, digital and services), target operating model design, organisational design, design strategy etc.

He is considered one of the founders of UX as someone who made the early move from Usability (diagnostics) to UX (researching and defining solutions), UX Strategy (for ecosystems) now called Service Design and Strategic Research (with executives) now called Design Thinking.

He has worked across all the key verticals and focused on change that involves complex non-digital and digital cultural change, high volume transaction processes, self-service systems, customer centricity and automation. He has specific experience in complex regulatory environments and has delivered compliant master strategy, customer engagements, process change, digitisation, target operating and governance models into national and global organisations.

He is a highly competent, personable, creative and motivated person with a keen insight and definition ability. He is a critical thinker and able to rapidly discover the essence of problems then define, communicate, create buy-in and deliver end to end digital and process solutions. He positively motivates those around him and is able to engender a great team dynamic by leading from the front. He has business experience since 1989 at comparable levels in fields including defence, industry, energy, pharmaceutical, biomedical, construction, fashion, finance, banking, FMCG, property, publishing, healthcare, travel, policing, crown office, local and central government. He has specialist banking experience with investment, private, commercial, business, trading, wealth management in Europe, USA, China, Australia, Japan and Russia.

Recent organisational design roles include launching HCD Agile at scale in NatWest Bank and HSBC.

He has a wide experience in management consultancy and digital technology including business management, strategy, innovation, marketing, advertising, governance, change management, project management, definition, design and delivery. He has been honoured by the British Computer Society for his eminence in IT leadership with a Fellowship.




More from Karl

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Episode Mentions

Episode Highlights 

03:30 What does Business Agility mean? What is “Agile”? What is “Future of Work”? What is “New Ways of Working”? REFERENCE:

08:47 Why is this idea of Agile so critical in digital transformation and large-scale organizational change? REFERENCE:

09:58 “Business Agility is slow before it gets fast, small before big and wrong before it becomes right.” What do you mean by that? REFERENCE:

12:12 “No Business Agility program is 100% successful”. Why so? REFERENCE:

15:04 “No Business Agility programme is ever Complete”. How so? REFERENCE:

16:28 What can you say about organizational resistance in such an effort? REFERENCE:

23:31 What’s the value of metrics in Agile? REFERENCE:

30:40 Fail Fast, Fail Small to avoid Failing Big and Failing Slow #BusinessAgility? In reference, can you explain what you mean? REFERENCE:

36:12 “When Agile becomes Fragile nobody Wins”. Please share with our listeners what you mean by this? This is an important and interesting notion. REFERENCE:

40:07 Tell me about the value of servant leadership in the context of successful business agility? REFERENCE:

45:26 As fellow practitioners, we absolutely benefit from learning from our colleagues and friends, both “boots on the ground” as well as researchers. How would you summarize this conversation? That is if you had to distill your work into 3 or 4 sentences, what would you say to ERP organizational change practitioners?

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About Nestell & Associates

Nestell & Associates is a strategy and management firm. We can help you take your portfolio companies to the next level by demonstrating how to execute a scalable, methodical, and disciplined approach to digital transformation success. Merger and acquisition ERP digital transformations can be a significant challenge. But a solid framework is built on good practices with proven success. We have a successful track record with integrations, upgrades, mergers, and acquisitions, and we want to share our methods with you. Our leadership experience in organizational change, information technology, ERP, and digital transformation crosses multiple industries.