The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses worldwide is evidence of how fast the tables can turn and put businesses in stiff competition for survival. With the constantly changing business landscape, organizations need to achieve stability, especially in these trying times. Business executives, CEOs, and COOs, among other leadership positions, must wear their thinking hats and come up with sustainable plans on how to improve business agility.
Before further discuss how to improve business agility, let’s take a second to establish basic knowledge on business agility.
What is business agility?
Business agility refers to a business’s ability to endure the storm and adapt to the fast-paced market changes. An agile business is also expected to be responsive in discharging its duties and functions, especially regarding meeting the demands of customers.
For a business to adapt to the complexities and uncertainties in the business world, it has to embrace new trends and adopt creative ideas that will boost its chances of survival and continued growth.
Why is it essential for businesses to be agile?
With all that has been happing with the pandemic in the global business stage, you will agree that the future is full of uncertainties — nobody knows what might pop up next. Likewise, there are many uncertainties about customer needs and requirements. To stay on top of the situation and reduce business vulnerability to threats, agile businesses know to adapt faster to their environment and focus on maintaining their customer base.
To successfully adapt to the agile culture, business executives and team members must be flexible and innovative in their thinking. The idea is to have a business framework that will help you build a resilient and adaptive business.
If you have followed us from the start of this discussion, you would already know that business is susceptible to changes. These changes are influenced by a tall list of factors, including economy, market dynamics, technology changes, and company growth. For your business to have an edge and give your competitors a run for their money, you need to improve your business agility. You have probably been wondering what is the big deal about business agility, and why is virtually everybody talking about it?
Improving your business agility and having an agility strategy in place will help you prepare for turbulent times in the future and adapt to the new environment. You also need to be ready to cash in on viable opportunities even before others notice them.
How to improve business agility?
1. Invest in Competitive Intelligence
One of the key areas to focus is competitive intelligence. According to a recent research, 94% of the organizations are investing in competitive intelligence. This trend is normal considering the fact that the business world is becoming more and more competitive and organizations are proactive in leveraging the information gathered to increase business agility.
What is Competitive Intelligence?
You can think of it as a systemic approach for collecting and analyzing information about consumers, products, and your competitors, among other elements that will improve an organization’s strategic decision-making process. Competitive intelligence encapsulates the understanding of your business environment and devising means of enhancing competitiveness.
You can also think of competitive intelligence as the ability to anticipate risks and opportunities in the market and getting your business in a position for profitable opportunities before it becomes evident to your competitors. The idea behind investing in competitive intelligence is to help businesses develop strategies that will boost sustainable growth and agility while identifying and filling competitive gaps in the market.
Knowing your competitors will give you the edge to constantly enhance your business strategy and competency that will make your organization unique. Investing in competitive intelligence will help you,
- Track industry trends.
- Gather information on the competitive landscape.
- Enhance business decision that increases ROI.
- Strengthen long-term business strategy.
- Gain competitive advantage
2. Be Innovative – Think into the future
Growing and sustaining your business will continue to become more difficult as more people enter the industry. To make your business or brand stand out, you must think smart and leave no room for excuses.
If your customers request a change in your products, don’t hesitate to “pivot” because time is of the essence. You also have to eliminate all barriers that will get in your way of making improvements. For long-term growth, you have to consistently innovate the products and services that add value to your customers.
Innovation should not be restricted to just products and services, you will have to expand the scope and look at new ways to,
- Improve processes and operations.
- Upskill employees to drive innovation.
- Create a high-performing agile culture.
- Understand customers to drive innovation.
Being innovative will help you strengthen your brand identity, implement agile operating models, develop superior products and successfully execute strategic transformational activities.
Innovation is essential to increase business agility to move ahead of the competition and accelerate your business growth.
3. Strengthen Organizational Capabilities
As you may already know, having capabilities and not using them has little or no impact on businesses’ growth and development. It is how organizations manage and utilize their capabilities that impact the value and outcome of their operations.
An organization may decide to rethink its business model and processes or re-evaluate people skills and competencies, physical facilities, reward system, and organizational structure, among other aspects of its operations.
While businesses strive to deliver value in response to new trends and changes in customer demands, business leaders must invest resources in building sustainable organizational capabilities. However, building sustainable organizational capabilities is not a walk in the park. It takes commitment and focus to enhance the capabilities. Identify weak areas and other business capability areas that need improvement. Develop a plan to improve the capabilities and manage the change that comes with the process.
The goal should be to constantly identify areas of greatest needs and devise innovative means and channel resources to improvise and strengthen the capabilities. Making the most of organizational capabilities will help you improve market value, and it will shape the leadership, culture, competencies, and performance management of your organization.
4. Increase Operational Flexibility
Operational flexibility is necessary for organizations to adapt to potential challenges that may test an organization’s wit.
To ensure that an organization is going about operational flexibility correctly, there are essential questions that must be asked. That way, you will be able to satisfy the dynamic market and customer demands. You should be able to tell what an organization’s day-to-day operations look like, determine how you can maintain flexibility while adapting to changes, and prioritize projects in the course of adapting to changes in the business environment.
Operational flexibility allows you to adapt to the evolving economy and keep up with the pace of modern trends. On your journey to achieving operational flexibility, you must learn not to fight change. It would be best if you have an open mind towards practical ideas.
In addition to evolving with the economy, achieving operational flexibility becomes easier when you attract and retain the best employees, work towards efficiency and have complete control of cost reduction and control processes.
One of the essential factors to consider is getting the best crop of employees for your company. Hiring the right people and investing in them will help you build a synergized and goal-oriented team that will propel your business growth through increased efficiency, productivity, and unrivaled quality.
In this ever-changing business world and uncertainties, organizations are constantly faced with a common challenge to change their business strategy. Not being able to change and adapt quickly will only increase the risk of failure in business. Being agile and resilient will help you overcome challenges, better position your business, stay competitive and consistently grow.