Today’s business landscape is constantly changing. Customers are in the driver seat, demanding new products and services, and expecting businesses to always be available. All the while, technology lets us deliver more faster than ever before, while connecting with more and more consumers.
It’s a competitive environment. And it’s one where companies must be agile in order to meet new demands, adapt to new technology and stand out in the marketplace.
I’ve had a front row seat to these types of changes for more than 20 years. That’s when I started DocuStar, a printing company focused on delivering quality printing, quickly. Over the course of business, two things started happening: 1) demand for printing dropped while 2) demand for technology to manage local marketing needs skyrocketed. We suddenly had clients asking for help customizing print materials and getting them to locations spread across the country.
So, we shifted. We were agile. We responded to those changing needs with new products and services, and eventually refocused the core of our company and rebranded as Vya.
But the point of this blog is not to tell you about our background. It’s to emphasize that an agile company is already ahead of their toughest competition. Agile companies are better able to listen and respond strategically to shifts in the market, meeting customers’ needs, building loyalty and driving new business. (You can read more about why companies need to be agile here and here.)
When it comes down to it, leadership is responsible for creating an agile organization. Leaders must listen, be open to new ideas and remove barriers that stand in our employee’s ways. I’ve been fortunate to learn a lot – from customers, employees and colleagues. Here are just three of my top lessons in creating and fostering an agile culture.
Agility does not equal impulsiveness.
It doesn’t make sense to meet every new demand or shift in the market. Use your company’s core values as a guiding light to make sure the opportunity is a good fit for your organization.
Lead by example.
As leaders, we set the tone of our organizations. We must be open – to new approaches, new opportunities and new ways of thinking. Ask employees questions, listen attentively to their input and encourage them to share new ideas.
Stay on target.
We have to stay focused on the work that moves our companies forward – such as generating new ideas, campaigns and responding to shifts in the market. But it becomes extraordinarily hard to do that when teams are bogged down in day-to-day work. Keep a pulse on the challenges teams face, and help remove unnecessary obstacles in their way.
Agility is not always easy to achieve. It requires dedication and follow-through, and a commitment and confidence in your company’s people, products, services and strengths. How do you encourage an open, agile workplace? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter, @vya_systems.