Conventional wisdom tells us we shouldn’t rush important decisions. We’re told it’s sensible to wait and see. After all, quality takes time, doesn’t it?

But what happens when the success of your business depends on how quickly you make those all-important decisions?

In today’s digital world, start-ups are disrupting industries with lightning speed. Traditional companies are left trailing in their wake. To keep up with this relentless pace of change, all business leaders need to make their businesses more agile.

What is business agility?

Business agility refers to distinct qualities that allow organisations to respond rapidly to changes in the internal and external environment without losing momentum or vision. Adaptability, flexibility and balance are three qualities essential to long-term business agility. Business agility is important for firms looking to survive long-term and who work in quick-paced industries. Innovation is often the key to maintaining long-term business agility.

Business agility then is an organisational method to help businesses adapt quickly to market changes. That means external changes, but also internal changes. If a business is set up to respond rapidly and with flexibility to customer demands, then they are more likely to live another day to serve and keep those customers.

If the business can adapt and lead change in a productive and cost-effective way that doesn’t compromise the quality of their product or service, then that business will weather most any storm. It not only helps a business when markets change, but it gives them a competitive advantage over other business that are slower to action. Agile businesses put clarity, and customers, at the heart of everything they do.

Nudging organisations toward agility can be a bit like getting people to dance at a wedding. There’s usually some brave soul who’s first onto the dance floor. But the party only really gets going when a few more people join that courageous pioneer. You need to give your staff the skills, and the will, to switch to agility.

In conclusion…

For organisations to survive and thrive in today’s business environment, maintaining a rigid, command-and-control management style is seldom a recipe for long-term success. Some companies dive into the deep end of business agility. Others are able to slowly implement some of its features while still retaining more traditional business practices in other areas. Even partial progress still puts a business on better footing when it comes to reacting to shifting landscapes and emerging technologies.