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4 Ways to Make Your Company More Agile and Responsive

It’s becoming harder and harder to stand out in crowded industries and highly competitive niches. But if you’re looking for a sustainable strategy that helps your company rise above the noise, look to your responsiveness. By focusing on your company’s agility, you can add more value to the bottom line than ever before.

What Does it Mean to Be Agile?

The word “agile” gets thrown around a lot these days. It’s even become a bit of a buzzword. But don’t let the frivolity of the word prevent you from pursuing the supporting principles. Common sense suggests that agile businesses are better poised for growth and development than organizations that are weighed down by bureaucracy and dated ideologies.

But what constitutes an agile business?

As entrepreneur Andrew Sales explains, “A business that undergoes an agile transformation becomes one that can respond, adapt and change reactively without losing its vision towards the end goal.”

According to thorough research conducted by the McKinsey Agile Tribe – a group of more than 50 global colleagues from large organizations – there are five trademarks that every agile organization possesses in varying degrees. They are:

  • North Star embodied across the organization
  • Network of empowered teams
  • Rapid decision and learning cycles
  • Dynamic people model that ignites passion
  • Next generation enabling technology

In order for a business to truly be considered agile in every sense of the word, each of these trademarks needs to be present.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Company’s Agility

Running an agile business sounds great in theory, but how do you accomplish it, practically speaking? Here are a few ideas:

1) Try Social Listening

It’s easy for organizations to get stuck in a rut or lost in an echo chamber. The temptation is for business leaders to focus on what’s happening within the organization’s “four walls,” but this often happens at the exclusion of what’s occurring in the marketplace – e.g. the real world.

If you want to be agile, you have to flip the script on this typical approach. One way to do this is by listening more. And thanks to social listening tools, this is easier than ever.

Social listening tools are advanced solutions that proactively find instances where the marketplace is discussing your brand (or ideas related to your brand) online (particularly via social media). These tools alert you to these discussions and even aggregate data to give you an objective big-picture view.

2) Use Data Visualizations

It’s not enough to collect data. If you want to be successful in today’s business world, you need to use your data well – lest you get bogged down by the sheer volume of numbers and statistics.

If you’re looking for a superior way to leverage data for smart decision making, try data visualizations. Using a dashboard maker like datapine, you can bring data to life in the form of vibrant visualizations that allow your organization’s leaders to make smart, real-time decisions that add value to the company’s bottom line.

3) Rely on the 80/20 Rule

You’re aware of the 80/20 rule, but are you actually implementing it in how you manage, lead, and grow your business?

If 20 percent of your effort produces 80 percent of the value, why are you focusing so much on the 80 percent of effort that delivers just 20 percent of the results? By readjusting your focus, you can spend less time bogged down by distractions and more time focused on adding value. As a result, you’re more responsive and in-tune with what’s happening.

4) Take Customer Service Seriously

Stop viewing customer service as a nuisance or necessary evil and see it for what it is: an invaluable looking glass into the marketplace.

There’s a reason why highly successful organizations take customer service seriously. Sure, it nabs headlines and promotes goodwill, but it’s ultimately a channel through which they can hear from customers, gather insights, and find inspiration.

If you listen closely, your customers will tell you their biggest frustrations, but they’ll also give you some ideas for improvement, new products, and other helpful tidbits of information.

Get Started Today

Your organization doesn’t go from static to agile overnight. If you’re going to improve your business, you must commit to incremental growth. Start implementing the aforementioned strategies and techniques as soon as possible – perhaps even today – and watch as these new processes and approaches shift the mentality of your team members and revolutionize the organization from the inside out.