American businessman, hedge fund manager & billionaire, Paul Tudor Jones, once said: “You adapt, evolve, compete or die”. Very strong words indeed, but in today’s constantly evolving business market, this is a harsh reality that all businesses need to face up to.
Organisational agility is defined as a company’s ability to rapidly change or adapt to market changes. The higher your degree of agility, the better your chances of successfully reacting to new competitors, new technologies and ideas, fundamental shifts in the market and changing customer demands.
But to achieve organisational agility, you have to take a long, hard look at your business by answering the following key questions:
- Does your organisational structure allow for agility?
Complex hierarchies and organisational silos typically do not promote agility. Agile organisations tend to have flatter more matrix style structures which encourage cross-organisational collaboration, improved transparency and more streamlined, direct & informal communication.
- Do you have the right change leaders in place?
Fast and effective decision-making is critical within an agile environment. The right leadership will be able to drive change forward without any hesitation or attachment to the old. Great agile leaders are also able to foster trust, particularly in situations where there may be a relatively high level of uneasiness about a new direction a company is taking.
- How well is innovation encouraged and supported?
The generation and execution of new ideas is a crucial part of staying competitive in an agile world. Employees should feel encouraged to constantly challenge the norms in order to find smarter and better ways of doing things. If an idea shows promise but there’s a certain level of risk involved, try to be a bit more courageous in your decision making. As the saying goes “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.
- Is your company culture open to change?
If your company culture is change averse, you’ve got a bit of an uphill battle on your hands. Most of the time this type of culture is the result of current policies and practices which do not promote change as something positive. If your company is averse to change, it’s time to do a deep dive, some reshuffling and perhaps even a bit of education in order to remove your organisation’s barriers to change.
- What’s your strategy around managing talent?
Innovation is of course impossible without innovative people. Talent management is all about recruiting and grooming those who not only have the right skills to drive your organisation forward, but who are also flexible, mobile, strong collaborators and agents of change.
Agility is as much about your ability to react to changing conditions as it is about being able to take proactive steps in order to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise. It is important, therefore, to incorporate an agile way of thinking straight into you organisational core.
As one of the more niche management consulting firms in South Africa, we pride ourselves on solving complex business challenges powerfully and efficiently with our tried and proven partnered approach and methodologies.
Worried that your business may not be as agile as you’d like it to be? Contact Cathy at Analyze on 021 447 5696 or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how our team can help to bring more flexibility and adaptability into your business operations.