Riding the Waves of Turbulent Change with the Assurance of Business Agility. Martin Hodgson, Executive Director of Management Consultancy at SQS.


To stay afloat in an increasingly disruptive landscape, organisations are facing pressure to implement digital strategies that not only improve internal efficiencies but ultimately improve their route to market and market share. With the addition of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the updated Payment Service Directive (PSDII) due to come into effect next year, businesses are under pressure to meet complex regulatory requirements whilst needing to embrace disruptive technologies to stay current. To transition beyond simply surviving and seize the opportunity to thrive against tides of regulatory change, behaving in an agile manner will be vital. But how easy is it to live, breathe and run an agile organisation?

Business agility refers to adapting internal or external systems, products and services to react to change quickly and effectively. But to be truly agile, a company must be able to make changes to reduce speed to market and capture the market's attention in a timely manner, without the need for a major upheaval of business processes and IT function across the board, no matter which sector. Essentially, agility addresses non-essential and time intensive processes by reducing or removing phases altogether. Helping companies meet customer demands and employee expectations while remaining compliant and driving innovation. Seems simple enough, right?

It's all well and good understanding what it means to be agile, but incorporating the 'agile' mantra within the core of an organisation can be key for gaining a competitive edge in the market. The following checklist can be used for those stuck in the legacy rut to work in a more agile manner and come out on top:

Be bold, be brave

All aspects of an organisation need to adapt to new, faster and efficient ways to meet customer demand and market drivers. Business agility must be embraced as a philosophy across an entire organisation, not just individual departments, to reap the full benefits. Not only is it a management philosophy and approach that drives continuous learning and improvement to implement wider change, but it is a lean technique that must be used in a coherent and bold way.

To do so, businesses must have a high-level of self-awareness of their market position by having visibility and knowledge of how well they're doing against competitors and in which areas competitors provide better products, services or solutions. Once positioning has been assessed, businesses...

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