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Strategy - 4 min read

Some say Winston Churchill coined the phrase “business as usual,” which described a policy followed by the United Kingdom during World War I. The system, sometimes abbreviated as the acronym BAU, intended to help civilians continue their lives as if the war didn’t exist. They were to continue living and working in their usual way, utterly unaffected by the world war swirling around them.

“Business as usual” probably helped civilians to cope with war. They could focus on ploughing ahead with blinders on, completing their daily work and ignoring the changes.

But “business as usual” is not a good motto for today’s businesses, no matter their size. In fact, in today’s ever-changing global business environment, the key to success is agility.

In this article, we’ll look at the ways your business can embrace agility and allow it to become a hallmark of your operations. With an agile, flexible structure and mindset, your business will be able to adapt to changing circumstances, economic ups and downs and fluctuating consumer demands and needs.

 

Agile Strategy

Too many entrepreneurs focus on goals rather than strategy. While goals are essential for progress, too much focus leads to ignorance about changing circumstances. Your business doesn’t operate in isolation, so you need to keep tabs on the market. For example, you may have a goal of increasing sales of a particular product for the next quarter. In your zeal to achieve the goal, you may miss out on sales of a product that happens to fit with an unexpected trend in the market.

Instead of focusing on goals, focus on your strategy. Agile organisations develop a dynamic approach with flexibility in mind. To do this, you’ll need a process for modifying your strategy in the face of shifting conditions. Use aspirational targets that unify your stakeholders and inspire your employees.

 

Perceptiveness

To heighten your agility, you need to be alert to your environment. At any given time, could you provide a report on these factors?

  • Competitors
  • Consumer tastes
  • Supplier options
  • On-target price points

It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to be so in love with their product or service that they fail to notice how well consumers are responding. For instance, you may be producing the market’s best backpacks, but if satchels suddenly start trending, you’re going to have to come up with something they want quickly.

 

Testing and Development

To stay agile, you’ll need to test out new products and services consistently. Will all of your experiments produce great results? Of course not. But this kind of constant sifting and testing will lead you to long-term solutions and success.

When sales are exceptional, it’s easy to sit back and neglect your research and development, but this is precisely the time when you ought to be working on your next big thing. Testing is simply risk and innovation that you can carefully manage. Stay on it, and ensure tomorrow’s success.

 

Implementation

You’ve created an agile strategy, remained perceptive to your environment and tested new products. The final piece to the agility puzzle is the implementation of your successful tests. Businesses sometimes face colossal failures, but agile organisations pick themselves up and learn from their mistakes.

Leave “business as usual” to the past. Today’s companies need a “change capability” that keeps them moving forward, adapting to changes and proactively operating in an exciting environment. You may need to reevaluate your structure or accounting practices. Outsourcing your finance department could streamline your organisation and allow you to focus on testing and development. If you’d like to discuss ways you can improve your company’s agility, reach out to us at Altus.

 

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