Organisational agility: how business can survive and thrive in turbulent times

The market turbulence of the past year may have foreshadowed a new phase of globalisation, one in which volatility will likely remain a constant. To be competitive, companies may find themselves in a Houdini-like twist. How can they respond quickly and nimbly to the changing environment without getting caught in knots? In today’s knowledge age, the ability to transform information into insight in response to market movements is core to sustaining the business. Companies must think of ways to make their processes more flexible.

Organisational agility: how business can survive and thrive in turbulent times examines the challenges and rewards of organisational agility, particularly in tough economic times. The major findings are as follows:

* Organisational agility is a core differentiator in today’s volatile business environment… 88% of global executives surveyed believe that organisational agility is critical for global business success. One-half of all chief executive officers and chief information officers polled agree that rapid decision-making and execution are not only important, but essential to a company’s competitive standing, particularly in these times of economic uncertainty.

* …Yet most companies admit they are not sufficiently flexible to compete successfully. Although the overwhelming majority of executives view organisational agility as a competitive necessity, actual business readiness is more mixed. More than one-quarter (27%) of respondents say that their organisation is at a competitive disadvantage because it is not agile enough to anticipate fundamental marketplace shifts.

* Internal barriers hamper agile change efforts. More than 80% of survey respondents have undertaken one or more change initiatives in order to improve agility over the past three years, yet 34% say they have failed to deliver the desired benefits. The main obstacles to progress are slow decision-making, conflicting departmental goals and priorities, risk-averse cultures and silo-based information.

* Technology can play an important supporting role in enabling organisations to become more agile. Technology should function as a change agent in the use and adoption of best-in-class knowledge-sharing processes, so companies can improve their use of critical data.

Disponível em: http://www.eiu.com/site_info.asp?info_name=orgagility&page=noads&rf=0. Acesso em 17/04/2009

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