Enterprise agility can be developed through organisational learning

Do you feel like you and your teams are on a never-ending treadmill to improve customer service, increase sales and keep up with the latest trends and whilst staying one step ahead of your competitors? You are not alone. The answer to your problems could be developing more enterprise agility in your organisation.

What is enterprise agility?

Enterprise agility is a way of working which is reactive to changing needs and market conditions. If an organisation wishes to survive then it needs to learn to adapt when confronted with problems, changes in customer need and changes in the marketplace. Some of these may cause you dilemmas and even result in a crises. The way you adapt and move forward is critical. This more agile way of working and being responsive is enterprise agility.

For organisations who work in this way it is about being aware of changing conditions, seen and unforeseen, and knowing how they can adapt in order to survive. In addition to this it can provide the staff with the tools and ability to make these changes as they go along on their daily activities.

What do you need to know for enterprise agility?

The most important element of enterprise agility is knowing when you are making good decisions and when you are not. All changes need to be strategic. In other words don’t go for knee jerk reactions consider the longer term implications, the ability of staff to handle these changes and the ability for you to deliver these new ideas.

By being on top of your data, knowing the true position of the company and the implications of any changes on the bottom line this will help you to decide if any changes you want to make are advisable.

How to encourage enterprise agility for your organisation

At the core of enterprise agility is learning. Both individual learning and organisational learning. A successful organisation needs staff who are continuously learning and feeding that learning back into the whole organisation (organisational learning). However we are now looking at taking that a step further and encouraging staff to be agile in the way they deliver services by looking, watching, asking questions and continuously being aware of their customers, customer needs and the market place in which they work.

    • They need to be agile in the way they communicate with people, providing different solutions for different people
    • They need to be agile in the way they use the team, putting the right people in place for the right activity, using the right combination of people and knowing which team members suit which customers best
    • They need to be agile with the way they use their resources, the team and the organisation’s resources to ensure they meet not only the current need but any potential need and predicted future needs and trends
    • They need to be agile with the results they aim to achieve. Knowing that what is required varies and only delivering what is required. In addition it is about being agile in the way you deliver, reflect on the solution provided and consider options for the future. This is how we learn and develop, by sharing this learning with the team we can adapt and become a more agile and enterprising business.

When a staff member has a plan, help them by offering support and mentoring. Previously when they have had an idea they may have been pushed aside by a manager or leader who can only see the potential for failure. Your role should be to encourage and support and offer guidance and a sounding board when things go wrong. Helping staff members use this as a learning opportunity rather than a blame game is vital. There may be some failures on the way but by having regular open discussions around what everyone is learning as they go through change and adapt to changing needs, failures become a way to move forward not a way to blame others.

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