I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the digital transformation is all about agility. Business agility, leadership agility, employee agility—in a world where technology is changing at breakneck speed, we need to be agile enough to change along with it. Those that aren’t will undoubtedly fall by the wayside.
I was lucky enough to participate in #AgileChat with my friends at Pega to discuss business agility. It was a lively discussion that hit many key points about what it really means for a business to be “agile”—and why readiness, speed, and dynamism are now essential keys to building success for companies around the globe. A few of my favorite discussion points from the Twitter Chat are as follows.
You Can’t Predict Everything—But You Can Still Move in the Right Direction
Many of us get so focused on finding the “right” solution to our business problems that we end up going nowhere. Yes, we can glean a lot of insights from data and technology today. But as I said in the discussion, while many of us philosophize, few can truly “define” the path to predicting consumer trends and demands. The thing about business agility is knowing what data can tell you what you need to know to move in the right direction quickly.
Value Creation is More Important than Business Stabilization
Yes, a lot of us grew up with the concept of keeping the ship aright. But business agility says that it’s better to fail fast in the right direction than to stay put strongly—especially in this period of digital transformation. As one follower shared, “You cannot be agile and nimble (moving your business at the speed of data) if you are afraid of falling down.” Think of Blockbuster, Kodak, and so many other companies that missed big opportunities for growth because they were afraid of change. Successful companies today look at where they can find new value—both for the company and the customer—and risk smart failure to make innovation happen.
Leadership is Key in Business Agility
As I said in the chat, I’m a strong believer that the CEO needs to be the Chief Transformation Officer in any business. After all, if the leader isn’t moving the company forward, no other member of the staff will be able to either. That’s not to say all executive team members—and staff—don’t also play an important role. Yes, collaboration is key. But I believe that the most successful companies today are ones with dynamic leaders who embrace change, technology, and every twist and t urn that come along with them.
Make Celebration Part of the Culture
Digital transformation can be scary! None of us really know where it’s going. Make celebration a part of your daily routine—and not just huge wins, but huge discoveries, whether the project went as planned or not. You will never change without some failure. And you will never have teammates willing to risk failure for innovation without celebration.
One follower asked: Is it better to move at lightning speed than to take your time and get things 100 percent right? I see his point. But in my view, digital transformation is moving so fast that no company will ever get it 100 percent perfect. Even companies that have been disruptive to entire industries, such as Uber and Facebook, have experienced troubles trying to stay ahead of the curve. Today’s technology provides data—enough data to get a good sense where your industry—and your customers—are headed. Put that data to use! Thanks to machine learning, it can be churned quickly. It’s our executive teams that need to get used to making decisions faster based on it!
Business agility is a necessity in today’s world. You can mark my words: companies that refuse to move faster—make decisions more quickly—and self-adjust more rapidly—most likely will not be around in the next decade. Being able to see ways to use technology to create value, and not holding tight to something because you have personal feelings for it—those are essential to any successful business. Yes, data must outvalue personal feelings. Change must outvalue tradition. But that doesn’t mean something really amazing isn’t going to be made in the process! I encourage you to check out the full report from Pega on why agility matters and how it can impact your business goals.