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About Sarah Elk
Sarah is a partner in Bain & Company’s Chicago office. With nearly 20 years of consulting experience, she is an active leader in Bain’s Results Acceleration and Retail practices.
Sarah is passionate about transforming large companies, especially those experiencing technology or business model disruption. She has deep transformation experience at the intersection of organization, agile, performance improvement and change management.
Over the course of her career, Sarah has advised business leaders in wide range of industries including retail, technology, healthcare and consumer products, automotive, aerospace defense, and others. She’s worked with multiple Fortune 50 companies.
Sarah serves as the Global Solution Leader for Operating Model, Bain’s leading organizational transformation offering. She is a member of Bain's global governance committee for compensation and promotion.
Sarah began her career at Merck & Co., Inc. after earning her BS in environmental engineering from Northwestern University. She also holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
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Books By Sarah Elk
Agile has the power to transform work--but only if it's implemented the right way.
For decades business leaders have been painfully aware of a huge chasm: They aspire to create nimble, flexible enterprises. But their day-to-day reality is silos, sluggish processes, and stalled innovation. Today, agile is hailed as the essential bridge across this chasm, with the potential to transform a company and catapult it to the head of the pack.
Not so fast. In this clear-eyed, indispensable book, Bain & Company thought leader Darrell Rigby and his colleagues Sarah Elk and Steve Berez provide a much-needed reality check. They dispel the myths and misconceptions that have accompanied agile's rise to prominence--the idea that it can reshape an organization all at once, for instance, or that it should be used in every function and for all types of work. They illustrate that agile teams can indeed be powerful, making people's jobs more rewarding and turbocharging innovation, but such results are possible only if the method is fully understood and implemented the right way.
The key, they argue, is balance. Every organization must optimize and tightly control some of its operations, and at the same time innovate. Agile, done well, enables vigorous innovation without sacrificing the efficiency and reliability essential to traditional operations. The authors break down how agile really works, show what not to do, and explain the crucial importance of scaling agile properly in order to reap its full benefit. They then lay out a road map for leading the transition to a truly agile enterprise.
Agile isn't a goal in itself; it's a means to becoming a high-performance operation. Doing Agile Right is a must-have guide for any company trying to make the transition--or trying to sustain high agility.