It is difficult to change when you have been managing your business the same way for years and enjoying a great deal of success— “If it isn’t broke don’t fix it’ mindset. But do you continue to manage your business the same way when COVID-19, changes in customer demands and competition rule the day?
Many U.S. companies are finding they must do things differently to survive in today’s business environment. The competition is global and some of your global competitors have embraced a new smarter management style—Agile. The agile approach to management allows organizations to keep, or even stay ahead of the rapid changes in the marketplace.
The American economy is transforming before our eyes, where power is shifting from the seller to the buyer. Instead of the firm being the center of the commercial universe, now the customer is the center and it requires a new style of management.
We call this new style of management, agile management. It is a new world view that shifts the emphasis from a singular focus on profits or maximizing stakeholder value to one of creating value for the customer. By learning how to monitor, control, and constantly improve goods or service delivery systems based on customer predilections, organizations are better able to provide customers with what they want, when and how they want it. This business style leads to better decisions for your customer and your organization.
Business agility transformations are not limited to just the big firms, like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. It is also embraced by firms, like Airbnb, Etsy, Lyft, Samsung, Spotify, Tesla, Uber and Warby Parker.
Rapid and accelerating developments in customer preferences, employee expectations, and technology fuel the demand for speedier execution, increased responsiveness to customer needs, increased productivity, and employee engagement. Organizational agility provides a comprehensive response to these business challenges.
Back in 2018 McKinsey surveyed 2500 companies. 75% of the firms said organizational agility is a top priority, and nearly 40% were conducting an organizational agility transformation. More than half of the respondents who had not started agile transformations, say they have plans to start. Perhaps one or more of these 2500 firms are your competitors. You can ill afford to mange your business the same way if you want to remain a going concern. The transformation to business agility is a journey, but it is justified by the vision of sharing in highly profitable markets for information and service-rich products configured to the requirements of individual customers.
Willie Carter has nearly four decades of continuous improvement experience, which have enabled him be a good listener, teacher, coach and leader as he helps organizations do more with less and become more agile. In addition to his consulting practice, he is on the adjunct faculty at Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL.