Improve Your Business Agility with Flawless Execution
Many individuals and organizations struggle with Agility, but you don’t have to be one of them! Join Tom Friend as he explains how to be successful and profitable in a turbulent business environment. Click below to watch now.
Business Agility and Innovation
Business Agility in conjunction with a commitment to Innovation is a game-changing reality in our world. Individuals who can create ideas and act on them to build new technologies and products are emerging as the new leaders in 21st-century society. Many technology companies in areas like Silicon Valley, university innovation labs, and like institutes are cultivating countless innovative ideas and processes.
With all this attention, innovation in the corporate business world at C-level execution is somewhat of a mystery and quite hard to define and even harder to master. As with any journey, it begins with a first step.
What simple step can you take today to understand how innovation takes place and the factors that empower it, so you can optimize the conditions for future innovation in your organization?
Intentional planning that has buy-in from all stakeholders provides a bridge from ideas to executable plans. This accelerates a company’s ability to both create and respond to change in order to profit in a turbulent business environment.
Why should you be concerned about change? An unstoppable agile innovation revolution is now underway in our global connected society and the old ways of doing things no longer guarantee success in the future. This revolution is a different mindset and way of building and empowering teams, not about technology. Those corporations that are falling by the wayside leverage the same technology as the new disrupters… This business agility innovation revolution is being conducted in plain sight of the largest and most respected corporations.
What are these companies missing when the market disrupters they are competing against are using the same technologies as they are? What makes it even more puzzling is that these companies have an advantage because they are the incumbents. They are already in the market making money. More often than not they take their eye off the ball – The customer.
Business agility refers to distinct qualities that allow organizations to respond rapidly to changes in the internal and external environment without losing momentum or vision. Adaptability, flexibility, and balance are three qualities essential to long-term business agility maximizing business value to the customer with right-sized, just-enough, and just-in-time processes and documentation. Here’s the catch, Business Agility needs alignment within an organization to ensure that everyone is working together in the same direction, not against each other.
As companies mature, many experience declining growth as innovation gives way to inertia. Powers within the organization start to work against each other, often without realizing so. To counteract this tendency, companies have to focus on existing businesses and ways to grow in the future. The Speed of Innovation is only increasing. You can not act until you see it. The Flawless Execution cycle of Plan, Brief, Execute, and Debrief provides fast feedback loops that allow rapid change to threats or to go after new market opportunities. The trap is as the incumbent becomes mature, they do not respond to the market change quickly enough as new innovation overtake them in the market.
The rate at which innovations appear and disappear has been carefully measured. It follows a set of well-characterized patterns that scientists observe in many different circumstances. And yet, nobody has been able to explain how this pattern arises or why it governs innovation. The notion that innovation arises from the interplay between the actual and the possible was first formalized by the complexity theorist Stuart Kauffmann. Kauffmann speculated of a lens at innovation focusing on the “adjacent possible” as a way of thinking about innovation of ideas. The adjacent possible is all those things that are one step away from what actually exists. It connects the actual and the realm of unexplored possibilities. In order to seize these interactions, there has to be interaction and feedback.
There are many innovative ideas for companies to consider. The faster the exploration the quicker to market or to move on. This is where the steps in the Flawless Execution methodology can be applied to turn this idea into an executable plan and to get something to your customer as quickly as possible. There are many approaches to innovation and ways to sort through many ideas quickly. But how do you take these ideas and translate them into an executable plan?
The companies that can focus and listen to their customers and deliver value with solid execution plans have a higher probability of survival. Those that shift their focus to customers outside their current set of offerings using interactive feedback to expand their offerings and differentiate themselves have a higher probability to thrive through innovation via business agility.
As you consider business agility and innovation within your organization, please keep in mind it is a journey, not a destination. It requires the right mindset, networks, teams, and a customer focus. In order to master strategic Business Agility, a company must master a foundation of Tactical Operational Agility. I would encourage those on this journey to not tackle Strategic Agility until you have progressed on foundational tactical Agility. The old ways of doing things no longer deliver the value they once did. The Business Agility mindset invites us to move on from yesterday’s business modes and old ways of thinking.
About the Speaker
Tom Friend is a retired military pilot and squadron commander. He is an accomplished Agile consultant with 24 years’ experience training and leading software development teams in various industries. Mad Dog is a distinguished graduate of Air War College and has a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics. As an Afterburner Executive Consultant, Mad Dog teaches Flawless Execution to top organizations to turn their ideas into actionable plans.