Article 50 and Business Agility

Brexit Article 50 and business agility

Article 50 and Business Agility

Prime Minister Theresa May has triggered article 50. This marks the start of two years of negotiations to thrash out a deal for Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU). Germany’s Die Welt said the final outcome of Brexit would not be known for years. It would probably turn out to be “somewhere between apocalypse and wonderland”. He warned that the “two-year marathon” facing Britain was the country’s “toughest race since the second world war”. Everyone is reacting differently to these uncertainties such as market change, legislation change, labour market change etc.

What must a CEO/CTO of an organisation do in this volatile situation ?

Change happens, that is for sure. So the trick is not to resist it, but to prepare yourself for  it. You can not put your head in the sand and think its going away! You have to deal with problems! All CEO/CTO must make sure that your organisation is ready for these uncertainties and this could only be achieved by being agile.

According to Wikipedia, business agility is “the ability of a business to adapt rapidly and cost efficiently in response to changes in the business environment”. It refers to distinct qualities that allow organisations to respond rapidly to changes in the internal and external environment without losing momentum or vision. Adaptability, flexibility and balance are three qualities essential to long-term business agility.

Therefore business agility is important for organisations to survive long-term and work in fast changing environment. Innovation is often the key to maintaining long-term business agility.

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.

Henri Bergson

Companies may display business agility at certain times, in which case the agility is a form of crisis response, or the company may have business agility built into its structure. Companies that don’t innovate and rely on ‘proven’ methods of doing things often find themselves falling behind the competition because they can’t adapt quickly enough to shifts in the environment.

Why its important to achieve “Business Agility?

As businesses operate in a more ruthless environment than ever before; a ruthlessness that has been reflected in the number of high-profile companies that have entered administration. It seems to me that those companies that went bust earlier this year all had one thing in common: they failed to adapt in the market that they operated in, which in turn, nullified their value proposition.

The Article 50 spurs on organisations to focus on agility, responsiveness and high performance collaboration. The phrase “Business Agility” is so over-used shouldn’t cover up the fact that agility is absolutely crucial to business success in the post-Brexit UK.

“In the ever more complex business world that we operate in today. Companies have to be able to adapt rapidly and cost efficiently to changes in the environment and customer behaviour.  ‘Dinosaurs’ must learn to become ‘pumas’.” 

– Tom Clive

It’s about valuing individuals and interactions over processes and tools; collaborative technology over comprehensive documentation, and the ability to respond to change rather than adhere rigidly to existing plans. This can help organisations and teams become more agile, flexible and adaptable to change.

How can you achieve business Agility?

All CEO/CTO who wishes to be agile also need to show a degree of organisational intelligence. Therefore, organisations that show this intelligence are able to make sense of complex situations and act effectively.  Most of structurally agile companies usually operate in an entirely different way as compared to those that lack this organisational intelligence. They seek the middle ground between the global and the local and find a balance between a centralised and decentralised structure. An agile organisation will also empower local units and geographies to be more responsive and adaptive to local markets, customers and trends. As a result, this will create the right mix of bureaucracy with nimbleness and innovation. As Alan Cohen said correctly,

‘It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.’

Let’s welcome change and be agile, because business agility matters!

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Reducing organisation costs – what would you do if it was your money?

In current economy, managing costs is absolutely crucial in any organisation. Many of us are having to change our spending habits at home, and in work we’re also having to focus hard on cost control. This comes at a time when the wider business needs our support to help deliver what our customers want at a cheaper price.   In most of the organisations, we spend half our life either in meetings or preparing for meetings (what a waste of time?!?).  Therefore I thought why don’t I change the format of meetings and reduce the cost and save some time (and be productive 😉 .  There are few simple measures any organisation can implement and achieve huge cost savings:

  • Avoid overnight stays: No overnight stays, hotel accommodation or rail or air travel should be booked for the same day and meetings should be arranged for the later part of the day so that attendees can arrive comfortably.
  • Events: Large scale events and conferences should be subject to rigorous cost control. Encourage employees to use company’s internal facilities where they can. In addition, attendance at external conferences and external training should be approved in advance by senior managers providing a full justification.
  • Making the most of teleconference facilities: If you’re not in the same building, try to use teleconferencing facilities instead of face-to-face meetings. Conference calls have many advantages – they reduce our fuel costs and environmental impact; avoid the costs incurred with non-productive travelling time; and support our employees well being.
  • Use Smart board or projector: We all print documents for meeting attendees and it get thrown away immediately after the meeting. Instead use Smart board or projector and avoid printing presentations. Advantage – reducing printing and paper costs and environmental impact (10 points for being green and saving trees!).

Few other simple tricks:

  • Recruitment: Recruit people from within the company or encourage employees to recommend their friends and relative. ‘Recommend a Friend’ reward should encouraged to reduce hefty fees of recruitment agencies.
  • Personal equipment: Any unused personal equipment (for example blackberry’s, mobiles or laptops), should be recycled for new starters/replacements wherever possible.

We all need to work together as a team to ensure that we get the maximum value for our money. Tell us what you would do if this was your own cash? We’re interested in finding out how you think we can become even more efficient.

Thanks for everything that you’ll do to help and make sure you keep the ideas coming.

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