While the last 12 months have been devastating for certain sectors and industries, it has also highlighted the need for businesses to be adept and agile at transforming their business model. Whether it’s because of economic climates, changing consumer habits, or evolving technology, businesses who were able to adapt have survived, and those who were unable, or unwilling have suffered.
What is business agility?
Business agility is simply the ability to compete and thrive in an ever-increasing digital age by quickly responding to market changes and emerging opportunities with innovative business solutions. Pre-pandemic online transactions were steadily increasing, but as a result of businesses around the world closing their doors, it’s been businesses who have embraced this need to be digital that have seen the best gains.
Companies like RSM are a prime example of this agility. By adapting their digital infrastructure in line with rapid change, as well as being able to assist with their clients changing needs, they were able to navigate the different phases of the crisis.
In order for a business to be successful in its agility, it requires everyone involved in delivering solutions to be adaptable to change. Agility doesn’t mean being reactive in the short-term to weather a storm, only to return to old models, it’s about leading change in a productive and effective way, without compromising quality.
Ultimately, business agility is about the adoption of the evolution of values, behaviours, and capabilities. It is these core values that will enable businesses and individuals to be more adaptive, creative, and resilient when dealing with uncertainty.
Why be agile?
If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that the future is unpredictable. It has also highlighted our reliance on technology, as well as how fast technology can change – both to adapt to the way we live, but also to steer us into certain behaviours.
Businesses that embrace agile behaviours and practices are able to adapt faster and meet the ever-changing needs of consumers.
How to foster business agility?
Creating a culture of trust and cooperation is key when it comes to driving business forward. Constant communication and feedback from customers will help build trust and loyalty. It’s important to understand what technologies are important to your customers, and how to constantly improve their overall experience. As customer trust increases, so too does the willingness to try new offerings.
Equally, being agile is all about opening yourself up to risk. While innovation and collaboration are key, there are elements of risk involved – but it’s imperative that businesses stay focused on the same goal. Allowing teams to drive innovation through collaboration ensures that people within the team develop creative confidence, and the ability to come up with industry-leading ideas.