Stephen Covey once said, “If there’s one thing that’s certain in business, it’s uncertainty.”
In a business environment where technology moves at lightning speed, where industry disruptors can spring up out of nowhere, and where a single virus can upend the global economy in a matter of weeks, agility is no longer a “nice to have.” On the positive side, new business opportunities can spring up anywhere and at any time, and agile organizations are positioned to capitalize on these prospects ahead of the competition.
History shows that agile companies—those who proactively prepare themselves to pivot quickly—weather the ups and downs of the business world more successfully than their reactive peers. In the recession of 2007–2009, for example, Harvard Business Review reports that companies who responded earlier in the cycle fared far better than those who took longer to adjust. By the time the recession reached its lowest point in 2009, these resilient companies had increased their earnings by an average of 10 percent, while their industry peers had lost nearly 15 percent.
Whether the next disruption—or opportunity—is weeks, months, or even years in the future, now is the time to set your organization on the road to greater agility, starting with these proven strategies:
Eliminating inefficiencies and streamlining processes helps your business build resilience and prepare to capitalize on new opportunities.
Automating simple, repetitive tasks can help you build agility by lowering expenses, reducing the risk of costly errors, and optimizing productivity.
When it’s time to pivot, analytics can help you make better business decisions faster … and even add a new source of revenue.
Having a change management process in place helps you adapt quickly to disruptions while also ensuring alignment among leaders, stakeholders, and employees at all levels.