The modern business landscape is ever-changing, and competition grows fiercer with each passing day. Technology continues to transform and disrupt the way businesses and individuals operate. To stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive, businesses need to be agile and adaptive to the fast-changing business environment. They must be flexible and ready to respond to any changes in technology, customer demands and employee expectations. This became evident as the global community witnessed a complete upheaval in our way of life and business operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses were forced to either adapt and embrace new work strategies or risk going under.
Business agility is an organisational method to help businesses adapt quickly to market changes/trends and demands that are either external or internal. If a business is set up to respond rapidly and with flexibility to meet customer demands, they are more likely to thrive and retain them. Being agile manifests in various ways in different organisations. Post-covid, businesses worldwide have embraced new means of efficiently communicating ideas. They have re-evaluated regular meeting schedules and communication channels.
While reliable software aids in staying up-to-date, the power of real conversations through phone calls, team meetings, Zoom or video calls should not be underestimated. Agile practices have percolated the business environment and beyond. Agile can not only transform an organisation’s approach to software development, but also its enterprise departmental functions, project management practices and product development. In this article, I will highlight some practices that can help businesses to be agile and cope with changes – no matter how rapid.
Be Rapid in Introducing Change
Agility is connected to evolution, as stagnant entities risk going extinct. Demonstrate continual growth and change by introducing products and services that align with the evolving preferences of consumers. Agile businesses possess the ability to address diverse needs and demands by delivering highly-tailored products. They can rapidly enhance their offerings through customer feedback, resulting in higher customer satisfaction. Moreover, agile organisations can anticipate evolving customer expectations and market opportunities, positioning themselves as pioneers in introducing new products and services.
Have a Commitment to the Environment
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors are gaining increasing importance, with sustainability serving as the way forward. Businesses working toward sustainable goals are more likely to attract and retain employees and customers. Agile businesses must realise that the old way of doing things will not work, and in order to improve it is necessary that you incorporate these sustainable values as an integral part of your organisational model.
Deliver Exceptional Customer Service and Satisfaction
Digitalisation has heightened the significance of satisfying customers as a primary objective. Agile companies monitor changes in customer preferences and satisfaction rates, utilising this feedback to continually improve products and services. An agile business with the help of data analytics can easily assess trends among consumers and track their spending habits. With this information, you will be better-positioned to satisfy your customers and provide them with exceptional service, as you will be able to design products that are tailored to the specific needs of your customers.
Respond to Changing Market Demands
Agile organisations promptly adapt to new situations by identifying opportunities and embracing more efficient approaches, rather than resisting change. In today’s world of business, agile organisations must embrace the uncertainties of an ever-evolving world and work at responding to the changes with timely solutions. In order to survive as a business, it is no longer satisfactory to merely modify your current business practices; it has become increasingly necessary that business must go a step further and design new products and services in order to expand their market reach and solidify their grip on market share.
Business agility becomes a possibility when it is a shared responsibility across all levels of hierarchy in an organisation. The adoption of a novel or different working style should not be limited to only a few groups of people but rather the entire organisation, embracing everyone to promote a huge change that can increase a company’s value and competitiveness in the markets.
Marian is Head-Business Enablement (BCB), Stanbic Bank Ghana