Thursday, 24 February 2011


This is what's on my mind this morning. Businesses the world over name agility as one of their 'core values' and many more reference it in their client spiel. It's quite hard to achieve though, as William Hague will tell you.

So how do you build 'agility' into your culture, and really mean it? Here are 5 suggestions.

Work on your internal communication. No not your newsletter, the communication that happens within the 4 walls of your office. The more you're talking, the faster you'll understand a new situation and its implications. If you've got a new brief, take the time to give everyone all the information they need, before you get them working.

Share stuff. What happened that time when it went wrong? What did it look like that time when it was brilliant? What was the end result? What did we learn?

Keep it simple. Take a look at your processes, and ask you staff what holds them up. Do you really need it? Can you change it? If agility is what you want most, then cut right back on the admin.

Empower people. The blocker to agility is often the person who has to approve everything before it goes out the door. Think about what you can do to empower people to get stuff out themselves. That's not just about giving more junior people more responsibility, it's about giving them whatever support they need to be able to make those decisions and make them well. Consider specific training or mentorship as options.

Stay calm. Agility isn't the same as speed. Anyone can do something fast, but you need to do it fast and well. if the end product / result (whatever it is) is sub-standard, then you've made a false economy and your clients will let you know all about it. So take time to listen and make sure you're clear on requirements. Check and proof as you go.

There's plenty more to do besides, good planning for example, but if you're getting this lot right then you're in a great place.