The speed of change and iteration has made it more important than ever for businesses to be nimble and responsive. But with so many moving parts, companies often find it difficult to be as agile as necessary to adapt to changing trends and developments.
By addressing this key element of your organization, you can be better prepared for whatever tomorrow throws your way.
Helpful Tips for Becoming More Agile
Agile businesses are able to adapt to new trends more effortlessly, which leads to better opportunities and greater chances for growth. Here are some specific ways leading businesses remain agile without compromising on what they’re already doing:
1. Start With Mindset
Everyone wants to dig in and start tweaking technical elements and processes, but the reality is that it all starts and ends with mindset.
If your employees are scared of change or intimidated by the unknown, you’ll find it difficult (if not impossible) to pivot and adapt in real-time. The more you can train and prepare your people for change, the more natural it’ll feel.
“Preparing employees and the company for change could be as simple as looking at incremental evolution that changes with the market and customers’ needs,” Coras explains. “At the end of the day, the main focus should be on delivering value to the customer, and any change that comes with that is going to be positive.”
2. Introduce Scalable Tools
Don’t underestimate the significance of your company’s tech stack. If you’re tied to specific on-premise software and solutions, you’ll have a difficult time making quick changes. You’re far better off relying on scalable tools that allow you to grow and pivot at a moment’s notice. Now’s the time to reevaluate the software you’re using and make any necessary changes.
3. Switch From a Static Budget to Rolling Forecast
Traditionally, businesses have relied on static budgets to keep their finances in order and plan for the future. And while these budgets do work in certain situations, they’re far from perfect. They’re rigid, tough to manipulate, and far-too focused on the past (at the expense of what’s happening in the moment).
If you want to make your business more flexible, consider swapping out your static budget for a rolling forecast (which basically allows you to continuously plan for the next 12 months with quarterly reevaluations). But in order to do so, you’ll have to get buy-in from the top all the way down to the bottom.
“In terms of a rolling forecast versus a static budget – it starts on the top floor. The executive leadership needs to understand, accept and find additional value in the process,” Bridgepoint Consulting mentions. “There is a lot of upside in the rolling forecast method. It will be hard for some to see the potential upside simply due to a natural reluctance to change. Others may not like the idea based on something more tangible. However, each perspective will have merits worth consideration.”
If nothing else, now’s a good time to have some conversations about your budget and how you can become more responsive. If a rolling forecast isn’t right for your company, perhaps there’s another agile model.
4. Hire People Who Are “In the Know”
You’re only as good as the human capital you have on your staff. Stop trying to hire the cheapest or most natural fit and go for people who are thought leaders in the industry. When you have people who live and breathe the industry, you’ll find your business in a position to make quick and meaningful adjustments to seize on valuable opportunities.
5. Support Risk Taking and Embrace Fast Fails
You can’t innovate if you aren’t willing to take risks and (potentially) fail. But unfortunately, most businesses look at risk and failure as taboo topics.
Want to be more agile? Encourage risk taking and don’t throw people under the bus when they quickly crash and burn. Support in the midst of uncertainty is how you build trust with your people.
Set Your Business Up for Success
It’s not enough to be well-optimized for today’s business climate. In order to enjoy sustained success, your business must be ready and able to adapt to changing factors and conditions.
Let these tips and suggestions serve as a game plan for being more agile and responsive in the future.