5 Most Important Business Agility Traits

Susan Walker

Female athlete jumping over bar, low angle view (lens flare) --- Image by © Juice Images/CorbisAgility affects every aspect of your business, from strategy to operations, marketing, finance, and the overall organization. A recent study by Accenture Strategy found that business leaders stand apart from laggards on nearly every aspect of business agility. So what makes these leading businesses stand out? It turns out there are five common traits that can help your business become more agile.

5 traits of agile businesses

1. ‘Mix-and-match’ your leadership team

Research shows that having dedicated leaders with a variety of skills, experience, and perspectives helps to create a successful, diverse, and agile global business environment. Make sure you have the right mix of people and experience at the top, and seek cross-cultural and cross-industry leaders to gather different perspectives.

2. Prioritize strategic decisions

Understanding which decisions are the most important and the most urgent are critical factors for improving responsiveness. Don’t be afraid to bring relevant staff members into critical discussions to ensure the best decisions are being made in specific areas.

3. Make quick decisions

Fast decision-making on important and urgent matters is key to being agile. That means having the right people in the room when decisions need to be made. This speeds up the process, keeps things moving, and also prevents issues from being bogged down by bureaucracy.

4. Use analytics to your advantage

The amount of data and analytics at your disposal these days is unprecedented, so use this wealth of information to your advantage. Having the right analytical evidence is vital to making more informed, quicker decisions on critical issues.

5. Realize you are not in a silo

Agility is not just what happens inside your organization. It includes all of your end-to-end business dealings, from your suppliers right through to your customers. Get outside perspectives to avoid creating an echo chamber. Remember, if you are not collaborative and responsive to your business partners and customers, it can affect the agility of your entire organization.

For an in-depth look at the importance of business agility in the digital era, download the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

Discover the multiple forces driving digital transformation in the SAP eBook, Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

Learn more about how your business can become more agile. Read A Mix-and-Match Approach To Leadership and 5 Things That Will Increase Your Business Agility.

The above information is based on the Accenture Strategy study, “Traits of Truly Agile Businesses” – Copyright ©2014 Accenture. Accenture Strategy surveyed 1300 C-Suite and senior-level executives in 13 industries and 16 countries in mature and emerging markets about business agility.


Susan Walker

About Susan Walker

Susan Walker leads SAP’s Global Strategic Technology and Global Strategic Services Partner Marketing organization. She is responsible for SAP’s alliance marketing vision, strategy and execution across the company, with a strong focus on leveraging and extending leading-edge innovation to enable customers to transform their businesses.