Global Enterprise Agility Month: Top Tips for Being an Agile Enterprise

5 minute read

It’s July, which means it’s Global Enterprise Agility Month. Initiated by SEACOM, the Study of Enterprise Agility Community, this special commemoration seeks to address the ways in which organisations can ‘not only survive but thrive’.

While the key to being a thriving enterprise may lie in agility, with 89% of businesses considering this factor as ‘important’ or ‘extremely important’ (APQC), it’s not always easy to pinpoint what this means in the right context. That’s why, at 360WORK, we’re taking a closer look at this month’s main event and what it means for your business. Agility is not just a value for corporate businesses, it’s key for any business - including SMEs.

If you’re interested in how to be more agile and what 360WORK can do to help, have a read. 

What is enterprise agility?

In recent years, the terms ‘enterprise agility’ or ‘agile business’ have gained more and more prominence - with an increasing number of businesses seeing ‘agility’ as a key factor of success.

The Business Agility Institute defines enterprise agility as a “set of organisational capabilities, behaviours, and ways of working” that allow your business to have “freedom, flexibility, and resilience”. To break this down even further, enterprise agility is an organisation’s ability to adapt to new environments and demands from an array of stakeholders in the consumer market.

This will give hirers the ability to weather any storm, making an opportunity out of uncertainty. 

It’s key to note that an agile business is customer-centric, adapting its core values and business philosophies to the needs of the consumer. In this way, your business evolves as your audience does; cementing your relevance amongst competitors. 

This is only successful when you can turn these agile philosophies into agile working methods. According to research conducted in 2019, studies show that behaviours “on their own” do not guarantee a sustainable agile culture; any change in ethos must be reflected in transformed ways of working, such as budget allocations and the use of technology. 

Why should your enterprise be agile? 

In an environment where the business world is constantly shifting, in both mindset and practice, it’s key to demonstrate that you’re able to keep up with the times and adapt to change. This is certainly true of the past 18 months: recent events have proven that agile working is not only possible but a necessary consideration for the longer term. 

According to the McKinsey Agile Tribe, 75% of 2,500 business leaders surveyed recognise enterprise agility as a top-three priority, if not the most important priority. As well as this, nearly 40% are currently conducting transformations in structure to become more agile businesses. 

The group also found several reasons for why your enterprise should be more agile, such as a new demand for multidisciplinarity. The best businesses will comprise diverse experts with unique skill sets and talents. In order to demonstrate agility on an organisational level, it’s important to communicate this priority in the hiring process - by tailoring your search to individuals with passion, creativity, flexibility, and the capacity to learn. 

In a nutshell, being an agile enterprise helps you to adapt to constant change and fast-paced uncertainty, allowing for the creation of scalable, realistic, and sustainable business models that address gaps in the market amid your competitors. 

3 top tips for being an agile enterprise 

While every enterprise is unique in form and function, the most agile enterprises have common features that unite them in efficacy. Let’s take a look at what they are. 

1. Clear and targeted strategies 

In order to be successful, an agile business will work to co-define values with and for all involved. You can increase your SME’s agility by continually reviewing strategies and updating them in line with new targets.

It is especially important for such businesses to be flexible in their approach, recognising that stakeholder needs evolve - and methods to meet these needs must evolve in tandem. Each individual within each team will be proactive in assessing how customer preferences may change, anticipating what they can do next to make themselves relevant and valuable. 

Therefore, every strategy implemented by an agile organisation must be customer-centric in nature. 

2. Strong team structure

Any agile business will comprise cross-functional and self-managing teams that are able to collaborate - providing maximum productivity whilst using fewer resources. This is a highly efficient way to work, but will only be successful if you can coordinate a strong team structure and lead them with a strong leadership style. Where most start-ups can be described as chaotic, frenetic, or with no solid focus, an agile SME will be collaborative, quick to mobilise, and able to make decisions quickly as a team. 

A cross-functional team will work to coordinate a shared vision on one task, strategising how best to deliver. Teams are often composed of individuals with different levels of expertise, from different areas of an organisation. 

A self-managing team is able to define working methods collaboratively, accepting joint accountability for the end product and level of performance. 

3. Effective governance and leadership 

While it’s important to have an agile and flexible mindset embedded at every level of the enterprise, there must be somebody overseeing this. Having strong leadership enables you to oversee cross-functional and self-sufficient teams, ensuring that everybody is working to their most suitable capacity and best ability. 

According to a 2020 report by Accenture, leadership style was the number one theme for addressing challenges associated with agility transformations. In order to harness the power of leadership, focus not on utilising each individual but on building a collectively committed workforce with common goals and the ability to perform. 

Any agile leader will see their role not just as governing, but as empowering and motivating. Leaders are therefore catalysts and help each team member to work in the best interests of the team - to meet a shared value and customer-centric mission. 

Why agile businesses should use 360WORK: 

360WORK offers a range of tools to hirers looking to make their businesses more agile. Whether hiring employees, consultants or freelancers (individuals or teams), we provide a community where all stakeholders recognise the value of tasks at hand. 

Our easy-to-use platform utilises smart algorithms and personal relationship managers to shortlist a range of professionals that match your organisation’s ethos and culture. This enables you to build relationships with like-minded individuals, ultimately supporting agile working by enabling you to promote a shared vision across your team. The fast-paced, ever-changing nature of finding hired professionals is also aided by this platform, which is always kept up-to-date with the newest opportunities. 

Given that agile businesses rely heavily on effective teamwork structures and modes of governance, 360WORK is especially useful. Any hirer can easily create a team and use our ProToolkit to manage clear lines of communication, create task milestones and timelines, and manage expectations. 

and a diverse array of skill multidisciplinary sets. In this way, you can support the agility of your SME by utilising each person’s strength to define a clear working strategy and co-define your service’s value to customers.

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