Agility vital for business stability | Sunday Observer

Agility vital for business stability

27 September, 2020

Traditionally, business organisations have been run as machines. You set them up and watch them run; everyone has a pre-determined and rigidly set role and a top-down approach to management and goal setting, with little room for creativity and adaptation. Thankfully, things have changed, and today, businesses are more like living organisms — they evolve by the day.

With the recent developments – epidemics or pandemics, natural disasters and terrorism, agile companies have become a necessity, primarily due to rapidly evolving and shifting business environments, fierce competition, rapidly changing consumer wants and disruptive new technologies.

Business agility simply means a company can speedily respond according to market evolution and environmental changes. This might sound like a simple concept, but it remains an elusive one for business leaders, many of whom have yet to fully implement business agility, despite the many advantages it offers.

Advantages

What are the benefits of agility at work? Is agile on your list of competitive advantages? Can your business react and change its game plan based on either customer feedback or shifts in market, all while keeping that end vision in focus?

A successful business has the ability to assess any given situation and decide how to proceed based on the findings.

Before your business can become agile, first you must be well-acquainted with the principles and characteristics of an agile organisation: leaders are self-aware and motivated, encourages leadership that forward-looking and inspires everyone around them to perform to their potential, dedicated to continuous learning and training, encourages and supports collaboration, communication, and information sharing through use of technology and management processes, focus on long-term goals and objectives.

If you have an old-fashioned approach to management that essentially equates to micromanagement, you will spend all your time directing and controlling.

However, if you encourage your employees to take initiative, have ownership of their goals and careers, and make difficult decisions, you will be rewarded with employees who are engaged and empowered.

Agile organisations respect their employees enough to delegate responsibility and authority. Though agile organisations still have a top-level structure, they adopt a more flexible approach, because agile leaders know this breeds accountability and collaboration.

Empowered teams

To encourage the formation of empowered teams, you need to adapt your approach to goal setting. Instead of having a traditional trickle-down approach, consider aligning your goals upwards.

Employees should be encouraged to speak up and give feedback to improve their surroundings. This will help employees feel they are a valued member of a productive, powerful team, especially when they see their suggestions put into effect.Whether you are building a new agile organisation or attempting to make your business more agile, it’s important to remember that transparency is key.

Information transparency involves giving employees access to operational and financial information. Such transparency can encourage interdepartmental insights and ideas, regardless of position or seniority, which can help a business grow, strengthen and develop.

Creating agile people

Equally important is an organisation’s attitude towards training and development.

After all, it has been shown that companies that incorporate the use of innovative learning and development programs retain their staff for longer.

Businesses should encourage the use of personal development plans and continuous learning. This way, you will benefit from well-informed and determined employees who are loyal to your organisation, as they know you have taken the time and effort to invest in their futures.In an agile organisation, aims and objectives will change regularly.

You will need to keep track of training opportunities and allow for real-time feedback, in addition to scheduling and tracking regular performance discussions.

To support this, agile businesses should make use of modern collaboration and performance management software, leaving them free to focus on critical tasks that ultimately will affect the bottom line of their organisation.

Following the previous benefits, we arrive at the last one - building resilience.

By challenging people to be more agile, which involves taking action, expressing their ideas and standing behind them with responsibility and control, you can improve not only the individual but also the overall organisational resilience.

These are only a few of the many benefits of bringing agility to the workplace.

The biggest strength of the modern organisation is the ability to create a sustainable advantage and only the organisation’s agility could create this power.

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