Businesses suffering from the challenges inflicted by coronavirus are being urged to 'be agile' and to 'think outside the box' so that they can thrive, according to The West Australian article titled 'Coronavirus crisis: Richard Goyder urges struggling businesses to reinvent themselves.
According to The West Australian, on 13 April, Richard Goyder (respected West Australian businessman) shared his thoughts on Channel 7’s Flashpoint program, advising that being agile, amidst the coronavirus, will lead to these businesses not only surviving, but thriving from the crisis.
He stated that “it’s businesses that react hard, that move fast, and do what you need to do quickly that will come out of this OK.” These are the practices of agile businesses, or 'business agility.'
The term 'business agility,' refers to a set of distinct qualities which support a business to respond rapidly and positively to market changes while maintaining quality, safety, positive momentum and remaining aligned to purpose and vision.
The specific qualities that support 'business agility,' are adaptability, flexibility, creativity and innovation, resilience and balance. If a business is truly agile, you will see an organisation that has flexible operations, which allows the organisation to make important decisions and carry out important work quickly and safely, while remaining aligned to their overarching purpose and vision.
An agile business is able to work faster, smarter and better to deliver greater value for money. An agile business is able to delight customers, motivate staff and as a result, drive profit.
In The West article, a number of businesses were referred to which had demonstrated the hallmarks of business agility, ie: adaptability, flexibility, creativity, innovation and resilience - in response to the challenges that the coronavirus had presented them.
These businesses ranged from dress makers, to truck drivers, to hotels - demonstrating that every business has the opportunity to think differently ("outside the box"), be agile and transform so that they are is able to work faster, smarter and be more relevant in a rapidly changing market.
What is being highlighted here, is that in the midst of every crisis or disaster, there is opportunity to be found - it all depends on your mindset and how you choose to look at your current circumstances.
You have the opportunity to look at the current crisis as a disruptive event that triggers you to embrace our 'new normal' and implement changes in your business that allow you to pivot, adjust and thrive in response to current circumstances.
Additionally, you have the opportunity to look at the current crisis as an opportunity to also help others - either personally or through your business.
For example, at this present moment, we all have the opportunity to provide compassion, support and to create goodwill as a result of the coronavirus crisis, within our businesses (via Superhero Leadership for our employees), in our communities (ie: helping our neighbours) and with the broader general public.
We have plenty of good examples to inspire us. According to Forbes, Apple created goodwill during the Tokyo earthquake by inviting frightened residents into their stores to watch the news streaming on computers, to send emails to their families and to recharge their mobiles, etc. They also invited their newly homeless employees and families to sleep at their stores, effectively turning them into shelters.
Wal-Mart also provided a fine example in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when they provided free emergency supplies to the community.
More recently, in Australia, in the midst of the terrible bushfire crisis, Coles gifted groceries to front-line firefighters and their families. Their employees and countless other Australians also donated food, water and other essentials via the checkout process.
My Goyder rightly praised the businesses in The West article for "digging deep” in “really adverse circumstances” and for becoming more agile. But let's take it a step further.
While it is imperative to implement changes in our businesses that will allow us to thrive in the 'new normal' environment - let's also look to the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to create goodwill within our businesses, in our communities and with the broader general public by providing much needed generous support where it is needed.
Would you like to learn more about how to think outside the box and be more agile as a business? If so, please contact John Banning or Deb Banning from Business Agility Pty Ltd - Perth based management consultants who can provide expert tailored advice and support to help you, your business and your people become more agile and thrive from coronavirus.