When the needs of your employees, customers and the market change suddenly, (think Covid-19, supply chain constraints, inflation and war) you must be ready to make the necessary shift if you expect to succeed and achieve your business’s long-term objectives. Those proactive small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can achieve success even in the face of adversity by practicing organizational agility. But what is organizational agility?
Organizational agility is the flexibility and coordinated effort to quickly address rapidly changing market conditions. It empowers your people, processes and technologies to change direction quickly as needed, avoiding extended downtime and revenue loss.
Importance of organizational agility
Agility-focused businesses can manage their growth flexibly, independently and productively. This improves their efficiency and reduces costs.
With this approach, business leaders don’t predetermine the path forward for their companies. Instead, they make iterative changes based on feedback loops generated throughout the growth process, such as from employees and other key stakeholders. Once you've made changes to accommodate all the constructive recommendations, you can prepare to make additional changes based on future suggestions. Since your clients are also part of the process, you can use their feedback to identify priorities and make changes.
Agility vs. Scalability – What’s the Difference?
Scalability is the ability to increase or decrease your resources to meet critical needs. On the other hand, agility is the ability to react quickly to a situation, adjust with minimal downtime or loss, and keep moving forward indefinitely or permanently.
Or more simply, scalability refers to the ability to scale up and down in response to changing circumstances, while agility is all about the ability to move left or right to avoid a stumbling block.
For your growth journey to run smoothly with little hiccups, you'll need to be scalable and agile. Here are some things you need to pay special attention to:
Thoroughly define your target audience
Delivering value to your customers on a consistent basis is critical. Make every effort to establish trust and transparency with them.
Learn what factors influence value
Although many businesses have identified their core customer base, they don't fully comprehend what motivates people to buy. Give customers prototypes and samples, then observe what they do to get a better picture. Continuously evaluate and record their preferences.
Approach growth in an iterative manner
In a highly unpredictable business world, where an unpleasant surprise can occur at any moment, it’s better to grow iteratively. This allows you to learn as you go and adapt your business accordingly.
Develop self-managing, integrated teams
Create small, self-managed teams with all the skills and knowledge your organization will most likely require. Cross-train members so they can adapt to the needs of each iteration and figure out the best way to organize themselves to get the job done quickly.
Create a culture of constant improvement
Setbacks and challenges are common in business, but what matters is that you pick your business up after each fall and try to improve without hesitation.
Developing organizational agility may demand significantly more time and effort from you than you can devote. If that’s something that worries you, simplify your journey toward organizational agility by partnering with an expert managed service provider (MSP) like us.
Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation.
To help you understand the concept better, we created an infographic titled "Considerations for Achieving Organizational Agility," which you can download for free by CLICKING HERE.