“Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves, to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterday by our today.” –Stewart B Johnson

In life, some organizations are like battleships: they make turns gradually over time.  Others are more like motorcycles, easily zipping left or right with tremendous speed.  As our world becomes increasingly built upon technology, people’s expectations of our ability to make changes has quickly ramped up and their level of annoyance at slow, drawn out change has reached a fever pitch .  Considering this along with our desire to be helpful companies that are easy to do business with, we should ask ourselves: How agile are our companies?

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Official U.S. Navy photograph

One of the easiest ways to assess our companies ability to change is through hindsight.  Consider a change or two that have been made over the last year.  What spurred that change?  Once the decision was made to implement that new idea, how long did it take for the change to be implemented?

Another valuable assessment is looking at how often customer feedback is acted upon.  When customers have have expressed a desire for change in policies and procedures or products in the past, how long did it take for their requests to be acted upon?  How much similar feedback was collected before it hit the tipping point, spurring change?

Agility also implies a certain amount of flexibility.  Changing gears from one inflexible policy to another does not positively affect a company as much as allowing “wiggle room” within old or new policies.  How much freedom does staff have to meet needs or requests in non-traditional ways?  How often are these new solutions looked at to potentially be incorporated in to policy and procedure?

Lastly, smart, efficient change requires accurate data.  What methods are in place to collect ideas and feedback from all potential sources?  How is that data processed and how quickly is it reviewed to be acted upon?

Figuring out where your baseline is for agility will not only give you a starting point and goal line for becoming more responsive, it will also give you tangible ideas and ways to foster that shift.  Customers will greatly appreciate your company’s nimbleness and desire to continue being the best.  The welcoming of positive change will also foster an environment in which it’s easier to provide customers with the excellent level of customer service we’re all striving for.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]