Business agility describes the capabilities or behaviors that give an organization the freedom, flexibility, and resilience to carry out its purpose and provide customer value. Business agility is an operating model for the next generation of businesses, helping them thrive in unpredictable markets, be adaptable to change, and reduce costs without sacrificing quality.
Understanding business agility
The world of business has never been more dynamic. Organizations of all sizes are struggling to remain relevant to their customers, whose expectations have never been higher. What’s more, employees are searching for more empowerment, clarity, and meaning in their roles.
It’s important to think of business agility as a common thread that runs through an organization, binding everyone together. Every employee is responsible for agility. Indeed, a business is only as agile as its least agile division.
Business agility helps the organization proactively respond to market changes or emerging opportunities with innovative solutions. It also facilitates a suitable response to internal and external threats – whether they be commercial, legal, technological, social, or political in nature.
The business agility framework
The business agility framework consists of twelve interacting domains across four dimensions centered around the customer. Proficiency in each domain across all areas of the organization must be achieved before the benefits of business agility are realized.
Let’s take a general look at the four domains and the dimensions they incorporate.
- One team – business agility requires a one-team mindset where creativity and collaboration work toward shared goals. These goals span departments, functions, and teams across the organization.
- People management – leaders need to recruit, hire, nurture and develop recruits with a strong organizational fit. They must actively embody mission and culture.
- Strategic ability – leaders must also formulate and communicate adaptive strategies and empower teams to innovate by identifying new opportunities.
- Structural agility – to embrace change with relative ease and little disruption, the right structures need to be in place.
- Process agility – similarly, operations need to adapt and evolve as required to continually meet customer value expectations.
- Enterprise agility – here, business operations governance must encourage and facilitate innovation as opposed to stifling creative growth.
- Craft excellence – business agility recognizes excellence as the ability for individuals to take advantage of emergent opportunities for customers.
- Growth mindset – individuals must also be open to continuous change and personal development in sometimes ambiguous environments. Importantly, they also need to be comfortable with making mistakes.
- Ownership and accountability – employees who are invested in customers and customer work tend to make better decisions and can adapt to change quickly.
- Workforce – business agility requires an empowered and passionate workforce aligned with the company mission and strategy.
- Partners – the relationships a business has with partners should be flexible and driven by customer value. They should not, where possible, be driven by contractual transactions.
- Board – lastly, the board of directors and the leaders of an organization should have an open, collaborative working relationship. A focus on the customer and long-term success should always be maintained, which helps the business resist the temptation of short-term wins.
- Business agility applies the principles of agile development to an entire organization. Among other things, business agility facilitates adaptability, change responsiveness, and cost reduction.
- Business agility has a customer-centric focus. Customer needs must be understood and met as quickly as possible by developing a high-quality user experience.
- Business agility is based on a framework comprising four core dimensions, with each dimension in turn comprised of three domains. Collectively, they detail how business agility may be applied at the organization level.
Connected Business Concepts To Business Agility
Main Free Guides: