A good CEO is able to recognize and react to changing business conditions and adjust when it’s time to change course. A great CEO anticipates future challenges and course corrects proactively, long before challenges occur.
Building the infrastructure necessary to remain agile as an enterprise prior to the pandemic was difficult enough. Now, considering the digital workforce challenges and the shifting demands in labor the last two years, business agility has become much more challenging to achieve.
Corporate agility, however, isn’t just the result of lucky guesses. It’s a real-time practice of consistent recalculation and proactivity. Today’s CEOs are cartographers and forecasters, drawing up a complex series of decisions and leveraging available technology and resources to realize them at just the right time.
Fostering that spirit of agility within yourself and your organization is key to business success. In this article, let’s look at four-step process to find the right course.
Evaluate your digital transformation readiness.
Digital transformation is a long-term investment that affects every part of an organization, including its culture. As organizations adopt new technologies, they need to also ensure that new software and applications do not add new complexities. Successful digital transformation requires continuous innovation and an agile operating model.
CEOs need real-time insights into accurate data to get the pulse of their organization. Objectively assessing these insights helps identify gaps and missing elements that can drain the entire digital transformation efforts. For instance, in a large enterprise, the effort required to unify disparate time-tracking applications that are used to meet regional labor compliance is both expensive and time-consuming. Identifying this challenge early and switching to a global time-tracking solution that eliminates stand-alone systems improves the returns on investment considerably.
To get the best sense of digital transformation readiness, CEOs need to bring in members from all levels of their organization on one common platform. Thinking together helps bring multiple perspectives and understand if gaps are occurring at just one level of operations or permeating the entire organization. Furthermore, they must try to understand what is preventing agility at the highest level.
Select the right cloud solutions.
Once the gaps and inefficiencies are identified, the next step is to pick the right cloud solutions that will cover the necessary gaps and accelerate the organization’s more significant digital transformation journey. A few questions to consider when choosing a solution include:
- Does the solution automate and streamline processes across different business functions?
- Does the solution work for members at all levels of the company? Or does it need to?
- Does the solution integrate easily with the organization’s tech ecosystem?
- Can the solution scale seamlessly to meet the evolving needs of organizations without disrupting the existing processes?
- Does the solution encourage user adoption?
Organizations need global, scalable, configurable and user-friendly solutions to achieve the speed of transformation. For instance, let’s say you sign up for a professional services automation solution to create dashboards and use the insights to keep projects, resources and finances on track. If the solution itself is clunky and requires a lot of manual work from end users, then inefficiencies will creep in at some point in time. Therefore, to get the best results, you should opt for a solution that meets your unique business needs and can automate most of the processes.
Set a roadmap to achieve short- and long-term goals.
Any business transformation program—big or small—needs to have clearly defined steps and ambitious goals. Without well-defined short-term and long-term goals, people are not persuaded enough to switch to a new way of working and adapting to new software. Regularly reinforcing goals with conviction prevents back-sliding when faced with obstacles.
CEOs need to make sure that their company understands the transformation program’s ultimate goal and identifies the critical drivers for this change. Sure, CEOs may want to see every aspect of their business showing quick results—however, realizing the true benefits is a long-term game. Setting smaller and incremental goals helps implement the changes in an agile way, constantly learning and improving implementation. Short-term wins lay a solid foundation to achieve long-term goals and sustain the required momentum to get there.
Take the top-down approach to building agility.
Ultimately, driving business agility results from an honest interrogation of where your business stands. It requires taking a hard look at the situation. Ask yourself: Have I searched for new ways to support employees across my organization? Have I leveraged new technologies? Where have I made mistakes in the past?
Creating an agile business is a measurable practice. It’s learned, implemented and managed. However, it also necessitates a consistent understanding of how businesses and their resources evolve. So, as you round new bends on this road, stay flexible and appreciate the potholes.