The Agile Business Model
I was recently reading an article in Forbes magazine where they stated that over the last ten years, 70 percent of companies on the Fortune 1000 list have become irrelevant, replaced by competitors, or have just plain disappeared altogether. Shocking as that may sound, it is actually not all that surprising given the speed of technology advancements, market volatility, and the new age of digital disruption that has descended upon business owners in the past ten years. "Adapt or die." "Change is the only constant." "Progress is impossible without change." Pick your favorite phrase and it all points to an ever-changing landscape of disorganized chaos coming at us from every direction at an increasing rate of speed. Organizations need to be adaptable, forward thinking, and courageous. The standard mindset of having a "competitive advantage" no longer ensures long term success and has lulled many business leaders into a false sense of security. Just ask any former Blackberry or Blockbuster Video executive. The primary concept for every business to integrate into their corporate DNA in the 21st Century is Organizational Agility.
Companies that embrace unpredictable market conditions and operational change as a routine instead of a distraction, are beginning to differentiate themselves form those who don't. When Prevost Construction re-aligned their core values in 2012, Agility was the first value that became the cornerstone of how the employees would behave when faced with a challenge. Whether it is organizational change, a process change, or overall changes in market conditions, our employees know they must act quickly and decisively in challenging situations, while being adaptable and forward thinking in an ever-changing landscape. In our vision to provide the Amazing Customer Experience, every employee understands that we must lead with agility, follow through with expertise, and execute our daily tasks with an attitude of ownership. Take a look at our Core Values here.
Another equally important behavior that has to be at the forefront of any Agility campaign is responsiveness. Let's face it; you love it when people are responsive. Whether it's your food or drinks that come out quickly at a restaurant, the quick reply to an email or missed call, or when a live person helps you over the phone instead of the "automated attendant". We want the answer faster than ever before and we have no patience for waiting a long time for it. Consumers are growing more impatient. The marketplace is filled with multiple competitive options just waiting for you to make a mistake, or even worse, create the impression that the customer is not important because you made them wait too long for the answer, the product, or the service experience they were expecting. If you are a service provider in today's economy and you earn the reputation for being unresponsive, you can almost ensure the customers you serve will find it elsewhere.
At Prevost Construction, every employee clearly understands these virtues and will strive to create an Amazing experience on every project by incorporating Agility, Expertise, and Ownership into their daily interactions with customers, colleges, and peers. What's going to happen in the market in 2016, 2017, and beyond? Who will be elected for president this year? What changes are coming to your industry in the coming years? More chaos and volatility is coming our way for sure! Will you be ready when your organizational agility is tested?