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This story originally appeared on Due
In the modern business world there is only one constant: change. This gives agile companies a decisive advantage in every area. From retail to manufacturing to technology, when you have the most agile business, you can always stay ahead of the competition.
The question is, how do you make a company more agile? When starting a new startup, you can of course incorporate agility into the structure of your new company. But what about an existing company?
Here are 6 ways leaders can make their businesses more agile
If you're running a business and want to become more agile, here are some suggestions of different ways to help you.
1. Be strategic about internal departments
One of the quickest ways to stay affordable and flexible is to bring different departments into the house. The trend of internalizing important activities can sometimes make a lot of sense. It can give you a greater sense of creative control and help you make faster decisions.
However, Hawke Media experts point out that choosing between in-house execution and functions like outsourced marketing is "an important business decision that affects the future of your company and must be taken seriously."
The marketing agency reports that fully internalizing an area like marketing can cost a company more than $ 84,000 a month – and that's just a baseline. Of course, outsourcing an entire marketing strategy to a third party can also be a significant item.
If you are looking for a way to stay agile while getting the bottom line, it is important to defy the formulaic approach. Instead, look at every department and even every activity in that department. For example, can you outsource a certain part of the work in marketing, for example PR or social media management?
The goal should be to use external agencies for entire departments or segments of your organization without being dependent on them. Using an à la carte approach can maintain a sense of independence and flexibility while allowing you to benefit from certain outsourced lifelines.
2. Reduce and focus on priorities and goals
Priorities are important to a company. They help you concentrate on the essentials. Goals are just as important. Corporate mission statements, team goals, and individual growth points are all critical aspects of success.
However, over time, it's easy to get lost in priorities and become bloated by goals. In this case, both of them can lose their shine. If the situation is bad enough, they can even become irrelevant.
This leads to stagnant processes, outdated methods and an uninspired workforce. If you want to stay agile and ready for change, you need to pinpoint both your priorities and your goals.
You can begin this process by reviewing your current priorities as both a company and an individual leader. Are you stretched too thin? Are so many things "important" that nothing counts anymore? If so, take the time to revise your priority list. First of all, make sure you understand each priority that you have. Then focus again on the minimal number of elements that are really important.
Review your current goals and objectives in the same way. Categorize things into short, medium, and long term goals. Then leave everything else out. Adhering to crystal clear priorities and goals can help you stay focused and on track with any changes you need to respond to.
3. Lean on harmonized retail
One of the biggest factors that shouldn't go off your radar is your customer. No matter how big a change or how dramatic a shift, you need to keep your customer on the front lines.
This need to offer the customer continuous added value must not be lost when creating an agile organization. Because those who act with the highest agility but do not meet the needs of their customers will fail in the end. If you want to unite the ideas of agility and customer prioritization, you need to avoid getting fixated on one particular way of serving your customers.
Instead of committing to specific forms of customer service or marketing, savvy executives should adopt harmonized retailing. Strategist and innovation consultant Steve Dennis defines harmonized retail as “accepting the truth that all the talk about different channels is not particularly helpful. The customer is the channel. "
In other words, don't get stuck with the methods or tools you use to reach your customers. Instead, keep your sites with the customers themselves. This behavior in and of itself is inherently agile.
Instead of using pre-built channels to interact with customers at specific touchpoints, stay ready to change your position to reach your target audience wherever they are. This is one of the most important customer-centric aspects of a truly agile organization.
4. Make agility a key issue in recruiting
An agile organization must remain so in the long run. It cannot be agile for a single generation of employees. For this reason, your recruiting strategy should also be considered. The people you hire will make or break the long-term success of your agility efforts.
The priorities and methods you will use to bring talent into your company are likely already well defined. However, if you want to grow an agile business, it is worth checking your recruiting formula to make sure you are looking for the right traits in a new hire.
The task masters at MeisterTask outline several critical elements that should be central to reviewing a candidate for an agile workforce. These include:
Flexibility and Adaptability: Two defining characteristics of an agile individual, the ability to roll with the strokes and adapt to an ever-evolving workspace, are critical individual skills.
Collaboration and decentralized authority: The ability to find solutions together and to assume personal responsibility is also in demand in a more decentralized agile work environment.
Simplicity: An agile workplace can be hectic at times, especially when methods and goals change, which makes the ability to stay simple and lean a key personality trait.
Transparency: The delegation of an agile workplace and the additional responsibility make honesty and transparency non-negotiable for every new employee.
Many factors play a role in hiring a new member to your team. Still, it's important that you also consider what to look for when it comes to supporting an agile workforce over time.
5. Maintain an agile mindset
Hiring agile employees is an important first step. But you can't stop doing it. Anyone who wants to make their company more agile must also strive to maintain an agile mindset in both management and employees.
This should start with a decentralized structure and an empowered workforce. Centralized authority structures can hold back agile organizations due to slow decision-making and limited innovative inspiration. Make sure your workforce stays decentralized, from taking responsibility for their own projects to accepting open and honest feedback. Trained, self-confident and capable employees can make critical decisions themselves – even in times of change.
Also promote agile-friendly properties such as transparency. The willingness to communicate honestly and to be able to provide information are essential elements of a healthy transition.
Innovation is another important factor. To benefit from change, your team should be well prepared to exercise their creativity. Errors should be discussed and not punished. And employees and managers should be ready to make their visionary voices heard.
Most importantly, your team should maintain a growth mentality. Stanford University psychology professor Carol Dweck defines a growth mindset as "people who believe that their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and contributions from others)."
Dweck continues: “When entire companies have a growth mindset, their employees feel much stronger and more engaged; You also get much greater organizational support for collaboration and innovation. ”Therefore, in order to develop a long-term agile mindset for your business, you need to be able to develop a growth mindset.
6. Lead by example
This last point is the oldest in the book. And yet it is the linchpin for every sustainable drive for agility. If you want your company to be and remain agile, you have to take responsibility.
Leading by example means implementing all of the above recommendations in your personal activities. Weight the importance of each individual outsourcing / in-house decision. Keep goals simple, clear, and concise. Keep an eye on the customer at all times. Go beyond agile methodologies and adopt a real agile mindset as well.
As a leader, you need to show those who follow you why agility is important to your mutual success. Showing means that managers act and teach by example. Showing and teaching cannot just take the form of theories presented in long, dry meetings on whiteboards. The example must also be shown through your words, your actions and your decisions.
If you can do that, you can get your business moving towards an expertly agile organization. Additionally, your company is ready to face the winds of change no matter where it takes you in the future.
The post 6 Ways Executives Can Make Their Companies More Agile First appeared on Due.