Today’s business environment is extremely dynamic. Not only are new technologies rapidly shifting what is possible in terms of product and service offerings and modes of delivery, but an increasingly global economy means that new competitors can emerge from any corner of the globe. Add to that the fact that consumer tastes and preferences are constantly shifting, and you have a recipe for a very fast-paced playing field.
In such an environment, agility is key. As Gallup puts it: “the concept of agility can be defined as employees’ capacity to gather and disseminate information about changes in the environment, and respond to that information quickly and expediently.” Gallup offers three steps to help put you on the path to agility:
1. Speed and Efficiency: Pick Up the Pace
At the core of agility is the speed with which your staff can adapt to new challenges and take action. Gallup tells us that speed can be associated with employee empowerment, decentralized decision-making, and procedural simplicity.
In practice, this means things like quickly adapting to and adopting new technology and a willingness to abandon old ways of doing things if you realize they no longer work.
2. Freedom to Experiment: A New Way of Thinking
Agility means doing things differently. Part of this shift requires being able to think of new ways of doing things. It’s not usually enough to be as agile as, or almost as, agile as your competitors.
If you want to be the first mover, you need to have employees who can come up with new and innovative ways of doing things. This means a culture where employees are free to experiment.
3. Communication and Collaboration: Make Working Together Easy
Teamwork and effective collaboration can greatly magnify the impact of the ingenuity of individual employees. A group of creative thinkers with the freedom to think outside the box can rapidly develop great ideas and strategies for implementation if given the tools to communicate and collaborate effectively.
In a rapidly changing business environment, corporate agility is crucial. Fortunately, agility can be learned and developed in your workplace. All it takes is the know-how to cultivate the right culture.