Is your business stable? Is it able to scale and grow? If not, it’s time to start thinking about business agility and how you can get your business to not just keep up with the times but thrive in them. 

Having an agile business is all about organization, focus, and knowing what’s needed and expected of your company. To help you meet your goals, let’s run through exactly what business agility is, why it’s important, and sustainable tips for how to make your business agile

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What Is Business Agility?

In the simplest terms, business agility refers to a business’s ability to achieve and sustain its full potential in its profits and people, regardless of internal or external changes.  

Solutions IQ describes business agility as “an emergent property demonstrated by organizations who have four essential capabilities.” These capabilities include: 

  1. The business is able to deliver goods or services quickly and responsibly (aka Delivery Agility).
  2. The business is able to both innovate and disrupt the market (aka Product Innovation).
  3. The business is able to lead through complexity (aka Leadership Effectiveness).
  4. The business is able to adapt organization and culture to keep up with demand (aka Organizational Adaptability).

We can conclude that business agility is an ability that enables organizations to innovate and deliver goods and services more effectively and efficiently, which pushes market disruption into a competitive advantage. With this advantage, an agile business thrives in even the most complex environments, ensuring longevity and growth due to: 

  • Rapidly delivered products and services
  • Innovation well beyond market changes
  • Leaders poised for growth no matter how things change around them

Examples of Business Agility Mindsets in Real Life

It’s easy to think hypothetically about your business, but what about putting certain practices and ideas into play in the real world? 

Fortunately, it’s simple to find agile in the real world. You can go to any software company and talk to their development team to get an up-close-and-personal look at an agile working structure, often using integrations like Scrum and Kanban

For even more advanced companies, it won’t be difficult to find they have a fully functional continuous delivery pipeline that also identifies and addresses DevOps.

Another example that is much broader and easier to spot is any company using business intelligence (BI), a tech process built to analyze data and deliver actionable information. This information helps executives, managers, and workers keep all parties informed to make sound business decisions.

Why Is Business Agility Important?

Some say that the only thing that’s constant in life is change. In the business world, this is especially true when you think about how quickly and unpredictably markets, customers, demands, and companies change. 

A business that relies on the marketplace to remain stable must know how to prepare for and mitigate risks when they happen. And they will happen.

With this in mind, it makes sense that business agility is so important because it helps businesses survive.

Those who can adapt will not only survive but thrive. Organizational agility is all about adapting to the changing whims of the market, customers, and the business world itself. A successful business is one that knows when to pivot and when to be flexible as different situations arise, and business agility makes each of these actions possible. 

Not only does business agility help you adjust to market changes, but it also helps you adjust to internal changes. What’s more, business agility grows and changes with the market as well, adapting to shifts and trends. Having a framework that prepares your business for change makes you even stronger.

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The Framework for Business Agility

Applying the agile framework to business agility is useful for businesses of every size and type. You become more responsive to the needs of customers. 

How can you be agile in business using the framework?

Map a Vision for Your Business

Firstly, the framework should act as a map for how you can begin something new with your business. It helps you navigate market change and adapt your products or services for success.

To begin, start with your vision and the goals you’ve set to drive the response of customers, workers, and colleagues. Innovation is the center of organizational agility and people are the driving forces that solicit change — this is the starting point of your vision. 

Businesses must connect with the right people in the right way and at the right time. Once you’ve connected, make them aware of your clear customer-centered goals so they know exactly what to expect when working with you. Promote organized communications and collaboration for your team. 

Execute Vision With Agility

After you establish vision, identify what your business needs to do, how to do it, and the right structure to oversee the execution of the vision. This means applying organizational agility and governance that not only oversees the process but sets it up for success.

Working Toward the Innovation Hub

Finally, all your efforts should be leading to something called your “innovation hub,” which refers to the people who will eventually execute the vision. This team should work within an agile framework that’s collaborative, detail-oriented, and iterative.

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