3 Critical Success Factors For Business Agility
To be an agile business, you need a business model and structure which
is robust yet flexible enough to enable you to react quickly to changing market conditions. This enables you to capitalise on new opportunities efforlessly or where adverse conditions pravail, enable
you to quickly exit the market to contain risk and damage. Of course, in order to achieve this, your organisation needs to be a lean and well oiled machine with everyone on the same page. This is not
just about running a tight ship, it should also embrace your IT infrastructure, systems, processes, your business strategy, model and also the culture from top to bottom within your business.
Now, more than ever, it’s essential that your business is agile.
Following Brexit we have some turbulent times ahead over the next couple of years. The financial markets have already been affected following the referendum result, and as the Government negotiates
our exit from the EU, there’s sure to be uncertainty rocking some markets.
Furthermore, advances in digital technologies continue to change the
way we do business. We’ve all been surprised when big names, like Woolworths, Blockbuster and Comet, announced they had entered into administration. Established businesses, we thought they would
always have a place on our high street. But unable to adapt to changing consumer needs and technology trends, such as online
shopping, digital streaming, and the onmi-channel experience, meant their customers found competitors, who did fulfil their needs.
Experience shows us that there are three key ingredients that a
business needs if it is to be truly agile. Here we share just some areas with you, and show you how to embrace them in your organisation.
Culture is an important part of an organisation; it can make you, or
break you. It takes a long-time to establish, and a great deal of effort to change, but unless all your employees are on the same page, you’ll face resistance at every turn and never achieve the
agility you strive for.
When you see companies that are agile,
they typically have something very special about the people and the culture that they’ve built. According to a report published by Forbes, organisations “…now see how creating true Business
Agility requires full and comrehensive interfaces across ALL business areas (see pyramid) and touches all aspects of the business, ensuring everyone plays a distinctive and important role in a
company’s success.”. It says there are several things you can do to create this culture:
Consistent messaging: instil a solid
set of core values that flow through every mission you undertake, weaving your brand into the very fabric of your culture.
Eliminate barriers between
people: facilitate collaboration and develop teams with multidisciplinary leadership that can handle
Embrace bottom-up activities: empower your employees to take ownership of their work and allow them to make decisions that will help them (and you) to
Agility and innovation are closely linked.
Typically, agile organisations pursue a programme of short-term competitive advantages. Therefore, innovation is necessary to drive adaptability and enable you to continuously invent and improve
products, services and processes, to meet the changing needs of the environment.
Unfortunately, as an SME, it’s likely that
your larger competitors can outspend you and have more resources at their disposal. However, the great thing about running an SME is that you can have a new idea today, try it tomorrow and see the
customer reaction the next day. If it works you can reinforce and develop it, if not, you can adapt it or drop it. In contrast, a large enterprise has more levels of process and review, which can
take months or years, that must be completed before launching something new. In this way, innovation gives you the competitive edge to move quickly and take that first-mover
Agility requires a stable platform on which
to build the business. An anchor point, your IT systems remain the one constant while everything around them is changing constantly. They add value to your business and enable you to react quickly to
the market and economic climate.
In a recent industry survey, the primary
reasons organisations cited for embracing new technologies were for improved efficiency, improved customer experience, and increased business agility. The most important technologies are:
Data Analytics: for deeper insight
into your customers and markets
Mobility: for streamlining decision-making for those at the forefront of customer
Collaboration: for improving
communication and fostering innovation
To be a makket leader, you need a single platform that integrates these key technologies to facilitate business
innovation, support your company culture, and ultimately underpin your business agility.
If you’re ready to future-proof your business, we can help create a lean and
agile business model that’s capable to adapting rapidly to any changes in your competitive landscape, as well as the commercial and economic climate
In our specialist Business Agility Workshop, we
will assess your current business situation and score it according to culture, innovation and systems. This will enable us to identify key areas for improvement and make recommendations on how to
adapt or change your structure, processes or strategy and give you the agility you deserve to take the competitive edge over larger enterprises.
Book your Business Agility Workshop