Back in the 1990’s , the then Chairman of Boeing James McNerney said, “Institutionally, the ability to be agile enough is the gut issue in leading an organization today.”
An agile business is one that’s always willing and able to ‘fit’ its most profitable markets by gathering insight and using it to adapt and develop new business models.
In the digital age, business success is about identifying what customers want and rapidly responding to these opportunities with best-fit products and services. This single capability separates market leaders from the chasing pack. In this regard, small companies have an advantage. They’re naturally intimate with their customers, understand fully what they’re capable of, what they’re trying to achieve. As companies grow, they often get more segregated and inflexible, becoming stale and institutionalized in the way they think and consequently the way they act.
Organizations that become agile can achieve first mover advantage and profit from opportunities as they emerge. They will be the first to develop meaningful relationships with the many new types of customers – and organizations that will emerge to embrace consumer preferences and self-expression. They will be first to develop new business models; first to market with products that consumers truly want.
New market dynamics require that organizations consistently find the best fit between customer demands and their capabilities. Business agility is the cornerstone of business success – and continuity.