Reactive Land: How Business Agility can help your business become Proactive

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Why be Proactive?

Proactive companies that place greater emphasis on strategic initiatives, planning and are forward thinking can better take advantage of business opportunities and are better equipped to manage problems and change. Reactive companies that deal with problems after they arise or take the approach of investing in opportunities after the fact may become quickly disrupted by competitors and forever victims of the ripple current of the after thought of what they could have or should have done.

A Competitive Advantage

Proactive businesses have a significant competitive advantage as they are flexible, adaptable and focused on continually improving their customer service, productivity, efficiency and workplace environments. Reactive business on the other hand, never maximize the potential of their businesses because they postpone change until it’s absolutely necessary and perhaps too late. Proactive companies master strategic planning, perform future planning and invest time in opportunity planning.

Proactive companies master strategic planning, perform future planning and invest time in opportunity planning. Click To Tweet
  • Strategic Planning – Strategic planning used to be a communication and decision-making process that c-level managers did in conclave typically once a year. Business Agility companies perform planning activities and set operational objectives, short-term strategic decisions, assess current strengths, weaknesses and opportunities at the portfolio, product and release level. Proactive businesses are constantly looking at what is next while working on initiatives to delivering value to clients early and often. Regular strategic planning is a common quality of agile companies as they constantly seek to evaluate their current position, services and product performance and identify opportunities to align their strategy with their clients and in doing so deliver more value.
  • Future Planning – Predicting future business opportunities and threats is very difficult. Agile companies use data and facts to guide their path making projections based on thorough analysis. Proactive companies manage more effectively their work plans budgeting for potential problems, market evolutions and trends and consumer expectations before they develop. For example cloud technologies and business intelligence gives agile businesses a greater ability to experiment with infrastructure and quickly deploy resources taking advantages of the opportunities when they arise. Data Driven companies can better recognize trends emerging, customer desires and preferences before the broad market has become aware of them, allowing to disrupt competitors and lead in new product development.
  • Opportunity Planning – Business Agility allows companies to leverage technologies strengthening the company’s strength maximizing opportunities by align their business with marketplace developments. Experimenting with new product, services innovations, technological advances and quickly incorporating new technologies can contribute to potential opportunities to grow a business. The benefit of being proactive is that you recognize, plan for and invest in opportunities that may have narrow windows and short profit lifecycle.

Proactive Organizations

Proactive organizations continually analyze the business environment for signs of impending change so they can improve their performance. For example, cloud technologies can help companies collect and quickly analyze data to better target consumers and forecast shifts in consumer demand. A proactive product and service company can use the data to optimize its product line long before its reactive competitors recognize they are behind the times. At the same time, it can leverage data and analytics to institute a self-evaluation program to analyze its productivity, efficiency and quality in other areas that may need improving. Agility helps proactive organizations become better and remain one step ahead of the game. Proactive companies are disruptive and can better separate themselves from competitors, continuously improve even during good times, finding ways to streamline operations becoming efficient and cost-effective.

Reactive Land

As a business manager, being reactive can place your company behind your competition. Prioritizing work, risks and issues is key for reactive companies to properly and quickly respond to problems, defects, changes in customer demands and meet existing market needs. Proactive companies focus on goals, learn to delegate and prioritize instead of running to put out fire after fire, they delay the non-critical and focus on the essential. If you live in reactive land here are a few things you can implement to help you improve prioritization and responsiveness to change when managing work across client teams.

  • Focus – Build up reporting mechanisms and tools to organize and sort client priorities and visually assess impact.
  • Budget  – Allocate time to address disruption and change
  • Value – Visualize value delivered vs. client issue/incident reports
  • Synergy – Encourage differences, collaboration and empowerment across your teams and provide tools that allow them to maximize their effectiveness by sharing practices and other key information.
  • Goals – Establish common boards to view and communicate highest priority in terms of strategic client initiatives and key company goals
  • Win/Win – Foster a win/win relationship between your team and the client

A Proactive Businesses

A proactive businesses look to leave the team time to plan and prepare for problems that will arise; Scheduling time to plan, test, refine and improve business processes allows enterprises to anticipate mistakes and act with foresight to head them off. Bellow are a few thing you can do help your business become more proactive

  • Make crystal clear the expectations and goals they have for their employees
  • Revise and communicate goals often and place accountability into the hands of individuals and teams
  • Open up channels of communication amongst teams
  • Leverage communication and 360 feedback
  • Foster innovation, Continuous improvement and change
  • Listen to your employees and provide them an easy, effective way to share information with the whole team.

Enabling Businesses Agility will give your company a better chance to thrive in the face of rapidly shifting markets, competitive disruption and client business strategic change.

Try these and let me know. If you are looking for a way out of Reactive land I can help! visit Go Ahead Be Proactive and Be Agile!