This is a question that has only be reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic. And business owners, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs all over the world are seeking answers.
The pandemic brought to fore the need for agility, quick adaptability and marketplace relevance. We saw many businesses crash and burn because they could not deal with the changes created, while on the flipside some businesses literally soared in the same period simply because they were ready.
This article provides the different steps to help you formulate your own plan on how to get started!
Step 1: Understand business agility
The first step is understanding what business agility is. Check our previous blog post where we elaborated on defining business agility and why your business must be agile. It is also important to understand that business agility can take on various forms – from automating processes to transforming the entire company culture.
Step 2: Identify your company culture
This means to determine what your company’s culture is. Is it an open-minded, present-focused and collaborative culture? Or is it a rigid, hierarchical and competitive one? This will show how to apply agility in your own organisation and in your day-to-day work. The step helps you see what in your business needs to be agile. This can be challenging for large organizations, but it’s possible with proper planning and a commitment to change.
Step 3: Map out execution strategy
After thorough assessment and satisfactory understanding of business agility, from here on out you deploy strategies that enable an agile workplace.
– Automate operations
As much as it’s feasible, operations – including other functions – should be automated in order to free up talent and time. Functions such as point-of-sale, accounting, payroll can be automated with digital technology. Leverage digital technology to foster faster and smarter communication among teams and quality task management.
– Rework your culture
Besides operational changes, the company’s behaviour will need to adopt a more agile style. Firstly, focusing on fewer priorities is required. A business cannot be said to be agile and have too many demanding priorities at a given time.
Secondly, build an agile mindset, one that is fixed on innovation, adaptation and speed, all tied to excellent service/value.
Thirdly, be sprint-minded – not marathon-minded – on projects. An agile behaviour sets eyes on developing the minimum viable product, then expands upon market demands.
Finally, feedbacks are important. Give feedbacks and receive feedbacks constantly.
– Team engagement
A business cannot become agile from the outside, it begins within; first with the leadership, then the rest of the team. Encourage an entrepreneurial mindset among teams in order to instil ownership. As teams collaborate, ideas should be encouraged from everyone; it works wonders in motivating people. This also cuts down on bureaucracy.
In addition to that, empower your teams to make decisions on projects. This will make them churn out tasks faster and be more akin to solving problems.
– Risk inclination
Now, we know you would likely cringe at the number of mistakes that will be made after reading the paragraph on team engagement. It should interest you to know that the willingness to take risks is part of the agile mindset. This is so for a number of reasons, chief being that agility is next to impossible without collaboration, and collaboration without the power to make decisions to implement ideas is weak.
Another risk would be the courage to cut off whatever is not working without a second thought.