The dictionary defines agility as the ability to think, understand, and move quickly. In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, with the economy undergoing turmoil and instability being the word of the day, business agility might just be the key to surviving as COVID-19 changes our world.
Is Your Business Agile?
Research has shown that the most successful agile enterprises consistently exhibit and share five fundamental traits that contribute to their success during challenging times. Businesses that aspire to build an agile organization should set their sights on these five traits as concrete markers of progress.
1. Strategy – Embodied Across the Organization
Agility begins with an enterprise-wide shared purpose and vision. An agile organization is constantly reimagining who they create value for, and how they do it. By sharing common goals, the business is better positioned to sense and seize opportunities as they present themselves. Organizations need to be flexible when allocating resources, creating value, and providing teams with actionable strategic guidance.
2. Structure – Network of Empowered Teams
An agile organization consists of empowered teams networked together with clear and accountable goals. By maintaining a stable top-level structure, and giving teams the flexibility to create active partnerships, you will create an agile network of empowered teams operating in alignment, with accountability, transparency, and collaboration.
3. Process – Rapid Development and Learning Cycles
Agility means fostering the ability for rapid iteration of ideas and experimentation – cycles of thinking and doing. By using standardized ways of working and information transparency, you can develop a corporate philosophy of continuous learning and action-oriented decision making to accelerate strategic thinking and execution.
4. People – Ignite Passion
Leaders in an agile organization create a culture of empowerment, allowing employees to take full ownership, giving them the ability to drive the organization toward fulfilling its goals and vision. Empowered teams create value quickly, collaboratively, and effectively.
5. Technology – Leading Edge Technology
An agile organization uses the latest technology, but in an evolving architecture of systems and tools. Technology is seamlessly integrated and core to every aspect of the organization. It’s a means for unlocking value and enabling quick reactions to unexpected business needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic is fluid, evolving, and challenging how we live, engage, and work. By adapting the characteristics of an agile organization, you can put your business in a better position to weather the storm.