Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms
Business agility is a company’s ability to adapt to a changing situation while still maintaining its vision. Agility is the idea that your business plan will not lose momentum even when there are internal and external changes both within and outside of your control. Business agility is important for any company that wants to be around for the long haul.
You might wonder “Why do we need agility in business?” Business agility is important for a company because it means that you’re able to anticipate possible changes and proactively plan for those changes.
If you aren’t watching for changes in your market, you risk falling behind your competition. By anticipating change, you can stay ahead of the curve and stand out in your market. Business agility benefits your company and your customers at the same time. When you anticipate the market, you can provide the best possible service to your clients.
A good example of the need for business agility can be found in the market-disrupting effects of the touchscreen technology in the first Apple iPad.
After Apple released their tablet, suddenly touchscreens became the must-have technology in computer electronics. To stay competitive, tech companies had to add touchscreen technology to their own products and adapt the way they did business or risk becoming irrelevant in the marketplace.
The term “organizational agility” and “business agility” are interchangeable. An organization’s business agility is based on its ability to organize its employees and their efforts. Organizational agility is directly related to how well your business will adapt to change.
Leadership needs to be able to see upcoming changes in a marketplace and organize the company to make the necessary plans to adapt to the changes. Then it’s up to the rest of the organization to implement those plans in a fast and efficient manner in order to stay ahead of the market. And while business agility takes time and planning, it’s the way businesses can survive long-term.
Let’s go back to our touchscreen technology example. If a company wasn’t able to properly get organized and start adding touchscreens to its products, it would have vanished from its own market. Whether a new competitor appears, the overall market shifts, or technology changes, a company’s organizational agility is key to surviving in a market, gaining new business, and keeping the clients and customers it already has.
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