Agility is the key to success in this BANI world

Amanda Fajak
We’d just about got used to being in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world when a new acronym popped up – BANI (Brittle, Anxious, Nonlinear and Incomprehensible) to describe the current macro environment. A global pandemic, new ways of working, war, and recessionary pressures have combined to challenge how businesses not just survive, but thrive. Agility is the answer
What is agility? 
Agility, or being agile, is often misunderstood. It is not about speed. Operating faster can simply be a recipe for doing the wrong activities quicker. Agility is about being able to adapt, pivot, and respond to your customers and market trends, both at an organisational and individual level. This means you’re focusing your time, money, and energy on the core problem areas that will add the most value to your customers and make the biggest difference to your company’s success. When you do that, the pace picks up on the right activities.
Mindset vs. meetings
  1. Customer centricity
    This is about being driven by customer needs, not your own corporate agenda. By doing so, you open yourself up to co-creating solutions with your customers, which can lead more rapid innovation, faster product and solution launches, and increased market relevance.

  2. Empowerment
    At its heart, this is about people at all levels being enabled to make decisions and be proactive.. This means customers get a quicker, more personal and effective service, and employees can take more accountability.

  3. Collaboration
    If you’re going to be truly agile you need to have all the various parts of your business communicating and collaborating together as one. Customer problems are too big to be solved by a single team or department, which is why silo’d thinking and working is hampering many organizations’ ability to be agile.

  4. Experimentation
    Business cycles are shortening, and companies no longer have time to perfect their products and solutions. They need to test, learn, and iterate. This is about being able to let activities and projects go if they’re no longer helping the company to serve customers. By doing this, you are able to generate more and better ideas, test, learn and iterate. 

Why is agility so important? 

Despite our human craving for stability, the world is only becoming more uncertain (52% of companies on the Fortune 500 since 2000 have either gone bankrupt, been acquired, or ceased to exist – Innosight). In this environment, companies who are truly agile and put the customer at the centre of their strategy and operations will maintain and take market share, reduce costs, attract and retain the best talent, and futureproof themselves to continue competing in an increasingly challenging world.  

We will explore more about these agile mindsets, behaviours, and the role of agility in culture change in future blogs. 

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