To survive in today’s marketplace, we must find ways to be smarter, more productive, and cohesive than our competitors. How can this be accomplished? Answer: Improve your business agility. Good news! Many organizations today are implementing new ways of working and adopting new processes, practices, and tools to improve their business agility. Because business agility has become a core competency and a competitive differentiator. But, what is business agility? It is basically the ability to deliver business outcomes like speed to market and reduced cost of quality in the shortest lead time – through an innovative and sustainable model of operations. In other words, you need to have a flexible structure, simplified technology landscape, robust digital platforms, and lean processes to drive business agility.
And building the right leadership team is essential to fostering business agility. Let’s look at the different ways you can drive business agility and improve your business performance.
6 Ways to drive business agility in your organization
1. Develop a long-term strategy that supports change
To drive business agility, you need to always focus on determining opportunities for business growth in not just certain but uncertain times as well. To do so, ensure there are ongoing opportunities like – workshops, conferences, group discussions—to discuss the latest trends and emerging possibilities. This will give you enough data and insights to develop a long-term business strategy. Remember, to leave room for how your organization would respond to challenging situations and the actions it would take in case of change.
2. Build effective leadership at all levels
You should always ask yourself this most important question – “How to cascade effective leadership traits throughout the organization?” This is the most crucial step that you can’t afford to miss if you want to drive business agility. Learn how other organizations and top leaders are doing it. Draw inspiration from their success and adapt them to suit your organization. Also, never forget to involve potential successors in key executive meetings and workshops. Prepare your people to handle all kinds of situations. To the extent that, the company functions and operations should go on regardless of the presence or absence of a leader. In other words, build great leaders and not just top-performing employees.
3. Create leadership ensembles
Always strive to make leadership more flexible and adaptable. Deploy executives and managers in a network that can shift and re-form to address new challenges. Leverage temporary teams and task forces to tackle particular issues and opportunities. And most importantly, lead by example. Show your people how it is done and give them an opportunity to do the same.
4. Encourage diversity of thought
Don’t settle only for today and today’s success. But think about how you can maintain and bring in more success for tomorrow. Introduce executives from other industries into the leadership team to broaden perspectives and decision-making approaches. That is, bring in outside thinkers – academics, researchers, authors, coaches, and trainers— as a means of shaking up conventional thinking. Break the routine thinking and encourage your people to think out of the box to drive business agility and success.
5. Make quick decisions and implement
Determine the structures you need to have in place to speed up decision-making and execute the same. Reinforce senior leadership alignment around critical topics so that, when you need to make rapid decisions, you are already aligned. Create a flexible operating model that enables you to move resources efficiently from one set of initiatives to another.
6. Establish accountability
The last but most crucial step of all – establish accountability. Divide the broad business goals among your people and ensure they take up accountability for the same. One way of doing it is to make these goals a part of their KPI. Also, consider the different ways you can reward results and not just activity. Clarify expectations, roles, and responsibilities. Take action immediately when issues arise. Remember, how you take action is equally important to – taking immediate actions. Never compromise on the ‘HOW’.
Leadership is the foundation! A strong team led by a strong leader will ensure the organization succeeds in whatever it does. So first, empower your leadership team so that they can strengthen and empower their team in return. And see how this will drive business agility and your overall business performance 🙂