What is business agility?
Business Agility is the organisation-wide ability to respond quickly and cost-effectively to changes and opportunities. These can be changes in: customer needs, competitive threats, employee requirements, industry trends and technological advances. Business Agility does not only relate to management, but flows into all levels within a company. For instance, people-centred leadership creates an agile team motivated by mastery and purpose. An agile team constantly wants to improve their skills and learn how to work best together. Their key characteristics are organised, analytical, resilient, innovative and collaborative.
To explain Business Agility with an example, we can look at when Covid-19 came up. Due to lock-downs, this caused problems for many companies. So was also the case for restaurants that were closed for long periods in several countries. An example of how several operators responded to this in a quick and effective way is by offering a modified menu with delivery option or setting up street food stalls. This is an example of agile improvement in the operating process.
What is the main objective of business agility?
Thus, the objective of business agility is to create the human capacity at an organisation-wide level to respond to both internal and external changes in a rapid and effective manner.
Business Agility can be achieved through the following 5 components: Responsive customer centricity, An engaging corporate culture, People-centred leadership, Value-driven delivery, Flexible operations.
Business agility affects the customer in many of the above components. For instance, through responsive customer centricity, a team will continuously want to satisfy the customer and through people-centric leadership it will be enabled to think innovatively and come up with new ideas and opportunities for the customer which ensures a positive customer experience and strengthened customer-company relationship. In addition, an engaged culture ensures that employees create trusting relationships both internally and externally with customers.
In many ways, the agile organisation is an opposite of the bureaucratic organisation.
An agile work environment is flexible and supported by technology and IT. Because the company responds flexibly to change, it will stay ahead of competitors compared to bureaucratic organisations that stick to old values.
Reducing internal variables
With the flexible operations component, a company is expected to remove obstacles. By removing impediments and suspending actions that do not prove to be of value, for example, a team can proceed faster with the outcome of an improved agile business process. In addition, an agile company focuses on stable collaboration in multifunctional teams. This means that employees from different teams work closely together and can quickly and effectively bring in the right expertise where needed.
What are the organisational benefits of this new methodology?
As already mentioned, in an agile organisation, employees work together in multifunctional teams. For example, within Kilpatrick too, there is close collaboration between Consultants, Client Managers & Directors, Management, Digital and Marketing. This not only ensures fast and effective delivery to clients but also leads to higher employee satisfaction who feel connected to their colleagues in this way, and in specific within Kilpatrick at the International level.
For the company, fast processes and proper deployment of available expertise ensure the lowest possible costs and use of full employee capacity. By keeping pace with the market and thinking innovatively, we can further develop our digital tools oneApp, Video Interview and Check It Easy to optimise our processes internally and externally.
What is the role of Agile hr?
Agile hr refers to HR fulfilling its role in such a way that it enhances the organisation’s adaptability. When you want to become agile as an organisation, the role as HR cannot be ignored. HR will have to draw up a strategic workforce plan, recruit the right people, pay explicit attention to development and assess and reward in a contemporary way.
Agile hr and traditional hr
As we indicated in this article on the increasingly sought-after role of facility manager, the role of HR has also changed significantly compared to traditional HR. In an agile organisation, hr is expected to have the right digital skills to respond faster and effectively to emergencies. In fact, the profile becomes more managerial and seen as a driver of change in, for example, an organisation with self-organising teams.
However, there are still many companies with traditional HR that hinder an organisation’s agility. For example, you can think of job profiles that describe exactly and in detail what someone does or should do, result agreements focused solely on quantity and on the person or an HR department that remains distant from the rest of the company.
How to form an agile team?
First, to form an agile team, hr needs to be aware that an agile team requires different competences. Among other things, an agile employee is innovative and optimistic about new ideas. Furthermore, hr will have to look strategically at what skills and competences are needed to realise the strategy. The gaps that emerge in this can be filled by appointing a new employee but also by training employees to have the desired skills.
An agile team is multidisciplinary and can act and experiment independently. In addition, they have the drive to keep getting better. This brings us to the last and most important point in agile hr: continuous learning and development. To keep up with competitors and market trends, it is important to give your employees the opportunity to acquire new skills and keep developing skills.
What tools does an agile HR manager use?
To activate agile mechanisms and facilitate teams to work agile, there are now hundreds of systems and tools available. The online tools that are available can help to map daily processes and attach a workflow to them. Doing this also reveals where improvement is needed and perhaps additional colleagues or other skills. Some examples of tools you can use for this are: HubSpot, Atlassian and monday.com.
In conclusion, Business Agility is a crucial aspect of modern organizations as it enables them to respond quickly and effectively to internal and external changes. An Agile HR plays a vital role in creating an organization-wide ability to respond to change. It requires HR to draw up a strategic workforce plan, recruit the right people, pay explicit attention to development, and assess and reward in a contemporary way. The importance of Agile HR increases in a landscape where the key word for success is innovation, which leads to constant investment to respond to change. Moreover, the Agile team requires different competences and is multidisciplinary, which makes continuous learning and development essential to keep up with market trends and stay ahead of competitors. Therefore, an Agile HR approach is a strategic lever not only to attract young talent but also to train and develop internal staff, including leaders, to enhance an organization’s adaptability.