Building An Agile Business

Urgency, complexity, and uncertainty define today’s market. Thriving in such a market compels us to build agile businesses that pursue perpetual innovation while preserving efficiency – innovations that adapt to meet customers’ real, changing needs and that steadily improve internal processes, including how these businesses may be led and managed. An agile business demonstrates three characteristics: Which of these agile business characteristics reflect your business operations?

Seeking Resilience

It can be challenging to find new leaders who can consistently meet performance expectations in our dynamic and increasingly complex work environment. Typical job postings cite requirements and experience levels, but rarely do they describe the behaviors necessary to achieve assigned goals and thrive in your business culture. The most significant performance differentiator is not what leaders do, but rather how they do it – their attitude, and how well aligned it is with your …

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The 3 Audiences of Change

Change tends to happen slowly because it impacts three audiences, two of which have the power, inertia, and communications to support or defeat the change initiative. Your ‘advocate’ audience perceives a change initiative as an opportunity to make a difference that also increases their visibility, while helping the company improve its means of creating value. They care about the change, believe that they’ll benefit from it, and so organize to support it. Your ‘resistance’ audience …

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How Strong Is Your Leadership Agility?

Increasingly, leaders are describing their operating environment as dynamic, unpredictable, and complex, reflecting shifting market trends that are concurrently impacting their customers. It’s an environment that challenges their established means of creating value, for customers and themselves. They need to promptly and profitably adapt to these highly dynamic circumstances, but often feel unprepared to do so. And the future promises that this trend will continue to accelerate. The traditional response to helping leaders succeed has …

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Choices Reveal What Customers Value

Building enduring customer relationships relies on discovering what a customer truly values. Proposing two or three alternative solutions to resolve a customer’s need communicates your appreciation for their business, and ultimately increases their satisfaction with their final decision. Here’s why proposing choices reveals what your customer values: How consistently do you propose choices to reveal what your customer values?

The Tale of Two Journeys

Progress in business is enabled by many factors, but perhaps the most significant is the alignment of two journeys. One trek is planned, the one that every business travels from milestone to milestone, towards a defined outcome, to generate profitability and business sustainability. The other is experience-based, the one that the company’s employees cover during their working life, moving from event to event, often in reaction to circumstances versus following a plan, as they pursue …

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Change Challenges Culture

In a market experiencing greater uncertainty, complexity and competition, the prime directive for leaders is not to manage to the status quo, but to make things better – to lead strategy or cross-functional change initiatives that create value, improve competitive advantage, and strengthen business sustainability. Leaders build and strengthen culture – and change challenges it. That’s why these initiatives must be led from the top. They are strategic and complex, requiring focus, agility, and accountability. …

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Moments of Truth

Every business confronts moments of truth – those moments when something that was promised to a valued customer goes wrong. It may be a quality challenge, a performance failure, an urgent repair, or a delayed vital delivery. Whatever the issue, it’s these moments, when the value you promised to deliver is compromised, and your relationship is in jeopardy, that your customer experiences the true culture of your business, what you truly value. When a business …

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Mixed Messaging

In his book, ‘On Listening to Another,’ Douglas Steere shares this insight: “In every conversation between two people, there are always at least six persons present. What each person said are two; what each person meant to say are two more; and, what each person understood the other to say are two more.” All leaders want to communicate with clarity, avoiding mixed messages that invite these multiple personalities into their conversations and discussions. Clear communications …

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Change or Progress

Leaders deal with change almost every day. Sometimes it’s intentional, meant to produce sustainable improvement. Other times, it can be a reaction to evolving circumstances. Many times, there’s a need to act with urgency. Whatever the motivation, rarely is change easy to implement. Leading a team from a known, comfortable situation toward an unknown one, is a fundamental and expected challenge of leadership. And the first milestone on this journey is achieving team commitment to the new direction. Promptly …

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