What do you know about agility in your business?
The term has garnered a lot of attention over the years, particularly among innovative start-ups and tech companies who claim that agility is the key to thriving in an ever-changing world.
More than just a reference to speed, agility is the term that business leaders use to reference something that’s on the cutting edge, adaptable, and flexible.
A business is agile when it’s capable of changing direction within a short frame of time. Businesses can also show agility in the approach they take to employee development and growth.
Companies like Adobe operate in an agile structure. For example, Adobe doesn’t do things like annual performance appraisals anymore but relies on ongoing discussion “check-in’s” between employees and managers.
But how does an entrepreneur become more agile? Is it possible to embrace the concept of agility in your life as a business owner?
See what resonates for you.
Why Should Entrepreneurs Be Agile?
Agility is becoming a more essential component of a successful business in a world where digital transformation (think AI) is happening at an incredible speed.
Beyond that, most industries and their customers have constantly been changing even before technology went vertical. Agility gives an entrepreneur the power to adapt to changes in trends and overcome potential challenges, especially as the rate of change accelerates.
Agile entrepreneurs are also more willing to take risks and learn from their mistakes. This is referred to as having a “growth mindset” which I teach is my Unstoppable U Leadership Course. This growth mindset leads the way for faster innovation.
Entrepreneurs generally have different outlooks from an individual who is solely a business owner of manager. As a business owner, it’s advantageous to be able to break away from the “best practices” approach to getting things done. If you become very good at what you do, you will also figure out how to be even more successful by doing things with a unique approach. When you begin forging your own authentic path, you shift from “owner” to “entrepreneur” and, not surprisingly, you begin to become more agile.
The more time you spend building your business, the more you discover that it’s impossible to prepare for everything that might happen. Sure, you can set up disaster plans for unexpected issues and have continuity plans in place. However, there’s no way you can be ready for every change.
Agility is how entrepreneurs survive the ups and downs of the business world.
How to Develop an Agile Mindset
The good news is that even if you don’t think you have an agile mindset right now, you can cultivate one. Most people can learn to become more adaptable and agile in their thinking, but it does take time and practice.
Here are a few tips to set you on the right path:
Ask more questions. In most parts of life, despite what we might believe about ourselves, we follow the status quo. If you’re a supervisor in a business and someone tells you that you can’t do something a certain way, you stick to how it is supposed to be done, in order to be a team player. However, as an entrepreneur, it’s your responsibility to ask “why?” What’s the real reason behind the way you do things in your business? Are you following guidelines that have always been there for no reason?
Explore different paths. Entrepreneurs with an agile mindset aren’t afraid to explore the “road less travelled.” In other words, they understand that they might sometimes have to test out uncharted avenues to achieve their desired outcomes. Additionally, these individuals are also aware that every path they take won’t necessarily lead to success. Exploring different avenues may not be beneficial to your business in terms of revenue or growth all the time. However, this exploration does give you a chance to learn, and over time, grow more effectively.
Embrace failure. When you first start out as an entrepreneur, you’re likely to have a heavy sense of obligation on your shoulders. Any business owner feels under immense pressure to prove themselves and be successful. However, you can still have a successful business even when you encounter a few failures along the way. Failure is going to happen in your company whether you like it or not. It may be on a small scale, or it may be something larger. What’s important is learning how to survive the issue and learn from the failure.
Believe in yourself. This can be extremely difficult if you have not built track record, or feel you need to earn substantial revenue very quickly. However, this belief is critical, especially in those scenarios. While embracing failure and seeing the value in it is important – failure is highly unlikely to be your pattern. Fortune definitely does favor the bold—and the agile. Have confidence in your ability to respond quickly to challenges and find new solutions. If you believe that you can run a business in an agile way, then you’ll be more likely to achieve your goals. Trust that even if problems come your way, you’ll figure out a way to solve them.
Dream big. Finally, one lesson you learn when you become an entrepreneur is that you can only achieve great things if you set out to accomplish greatness. Small, manageable, safe goals create equally small, manageable, safe growth. Setting small goals for yourself that are more realistic and achievable might help to comfort you initially. Look how you nailed that small goal! However, beyond those little targets, there should be something significant that continues to drive you forward and keep you battling for the future. Decide you want to change the world and think about how you’re going to do it. That’s the hallmark of the agile entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship, and growth mindset, can be learned, even if it might feel too risky at first. If you are ready to feel confidence in your own agile abilities, apply to be notified when the Leadership U Growth Mindset course launches.