Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have always had to work harder than their larger counterparts to survive. This is especially true during times of crisis, such as pandemics. In today’s world, where a variety of unpleasant surprises can arise at any time, SMBs must be well prepared to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

In the current climate, it is more important than ever for businesses of all sizes to be agile. Recent events have shown that unexpected surprises can happen at any time which means you must prepare yourself well enough, so your company doesn’t get overwhelmed by them and avoid becoming another statistic in today’s world where there are many unpleasantries out on store shelves—from pandemics or supply chain problems caused due to natural disasters, economic issues, including inflation and The Great Resignation among others.

But agility doesn’t happen overnight. You will encounter setbacks that can make your agility journey a bumpy ride. Knowing that is the first step towards business agility.

Be on the lookout for these little roadblocks along your journey

Here are five things to avoid while practicing organizational agility:

1. Survival mentality

In the context of agility, this refers to a business unit’s unwillingness to adopt innovations due to risk-averse mindsets or the perceived risk of innovations gobbling up an existing business. A survival mentality can stunt an organization’s growth and prevent it from reaching its full potential. Practicing agility means being open to change and taking risks, so don’t let your fear of failure hold you back.

2. Workplace politics

Workplace politics can interfere with an organization’s ability to practice agility. When business units’ goals and priorities are misaligned, it’s often due to workplace politics. This can lead to the dispersal of innovation efforts and the establishment of competing innovation units within the same enterprise, stretching resources and diluting the impact.

This can be seen as a refusal to restructure the innovation portfolio and focus on just a few key priorities, instead opting for many “pet projects.”

3. Information silos

Information silos are a common challenge that companies face when trying to become more agile. Information silos occur when different business units or departments do not share information with each other. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as politics within the company or a lack of trust.

When different parts of the company are not sharing information, it can lead to several problems. One of the biggest issues is that it can prevent innovations from scaling up and being successful in the principal business. Additionally, it can also lead to a lack of coordination and cooperation between different parts of the company. This can hamper the company’s ability to make decisions quickly and effectively.

There are a few things that companies can do to help reduce the impact of information silos. One is to create a culture where sharing information is encouraged. This can be done through training and education, as well as by setting an example from the top levels of management. Additionally, companies can use technology to help break down the barriers between different parts of the organization. This includes tools like collaboration software and communication platforms.

4. Lack of strategic fit

For organizational agility to be effective, all parts of the company need to be working towards the same goal. When an innovation unit becomes disconnected from the main business, it can start to pursue goals that are incompatible with the company’s vision and mission. This can lead to a lack of strategic fit and decreased effectiveness for the entire organization.

5. Lack of buy-in

One of the biggest things that can kill any agile initiative is a lack of buy-in from the top. If the leadership team or key stakeholders are not on board, then it’s very likely that the initiative will fail. This can be for a variety of reasons, such as a lack of engagement or because they are spread too thin across many initiatives. Without the buy-in and support of the top brass, it can be very difficult to make any real progress with organizational agility.

Partner for success

Avoiding the issues mentioned above may be more than most SMBs can handle since it requires a significant amount of effort, time, and skillsets. However, by partnering with an expert MSP like FirstCall Consulting, you can focus on your business while we make your journey towards organizational agility as smooth as possible.

Feel free to contact us for a no-obligation consultation.

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