Achieving the Agile Business – Part 1

How many times have we heard, speed is everything?  We must move quickly to identify new market opportunities, bring new products to market, adapt to competitive pressure, differentiate our business, increase our service levels, and decrease our cost to market. There is constant pressure to adapt and change in these and many other areas and do it quickly. With all the focus on the need then why is it so hard to transform your business and adapt?

Unless your business has only recently been created, the chances are you have a history and a culture that has had more to do with how you manage and run your business than any external market forces.  When was the last time you asked about implementing what, in your mind, should be a simple change and the answer you received was this will takes months to do.  Most managers would ask the simple question why?  When you dive deeper you begin to see the processes that have evolved and engrained themselves into your day to day business operations.  As you begin to question WHY things work or flow the way they do a typical answer is, that’s the way we’ve always done it!  Any time you receive that answer, it’s time to transform!

Simple steps can sometimes make a big difference. The key to a successful transformation is to first be clear about the strategy and direction of the business and the focus of your operations.  Understand your core processes and focus on the ones that have the biggest impact on your business strategy. If it’s key that you differentiate on service start with the processes and departments that have the most impact on your customer service.  While this sounds really simple, you would be surprised how few companies actually take the time to focus on not only the what but the how…

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