A Year in Agile Business
It’s been a mad, mad (mad, mad) world for anyone in the business game, as agile processes have essentially turned most everything we thought to be true inside out and upside down. In this post, we’ve collected a few of our favorite musings on the topic from the last year:
To be agile means test ideas and use data to follow up on what’s working and stop doing what’s not working to improve the profit of your business. Sounds like what marketing was supposed to be in the first place, doesn’t it?
Right up until the second it’s too late, it’s easy to believe that fighting disruption is a viable business strategy — especially if you’re the bigger player in the equation. But today’s winner’s circle doesn’t discriminate when it comes to size or position. We’ve seen disruptive innovations out-maneuver businesses of every type, completely obliterate entire industries and generate exorbitant amounts of revenue at breakneck rates.
It’s an intimidating fate for any organization, but nonetheless sealed: take action now, or someone will do it for you.
Everyone tunes into the procrastination station at some point or another, often as a result of over analyzing. Thinking too much about a task blows it out of proportion, making us much less excited to tackle it (analysis paralysis!). But in a world where information overload is the norm, decisive analysis is virtually impossible. In other words, being agile often requires action first.
A lot of people tend to associate pivoting with total change, but completely switching out your goal every time you have doubts is exhausting (not to mention a disservice to every team involved). Sometimes you’ll have no choice but to go back to square one, but when it comes to making these course-correcting shifts, the destination should stay the same. It’s the path that changes.
Agile is a new concept for a lot of folks, and learning on the go can be quite challenging. In this article, we provide several easily identifiable agile mistakes to be on the lookout for.
Much of the Agile way is about working in short, intense bursts–but why exactly has this become so popular?
Multi-tasking is becoming less impressive and more expected with each passing year, but with its rise in popularity comes a slew of questions about its effectiveness.
Most organizations understand the need for agility in the likely event of a shake-up, but what they tend to overlook is the starting point, a.k.a. the structural support system, a.k.a. the people. There’s no process that can save you from having to rebuild; it’s up to the people in your organization to align and move forward. So give them their best chance at doing that without too many hiccups.
One of the coolest things about today’s consumer is their want to love. If you’re a marketer, just think about that for a second. Your audience wants to love you.
As it turns out, given real voice and influence (thanks, social media platforms) people become less angry. And while they certainly have a greater ability than ever before to “stick it to the man,” they’re more interested in finding and advocating the content, services and products they truly believe in. It’s a two-way street dynamic we saw in the mom and pop shop era, but with an explosive twist on word-of-mouth. Now, branded messaging is just as much about influence as it is about management.
The luxury that is working remotely is just one of a few practices that are coming to define today’s newly minted white-collar professionals, and for the majority of predecessors that change presents a significant challenge. In this particular case, it’s a question of engagement. How is it feasible for a person who isn’t physically present to be more engaged with a task or team than someone who is?
Interesting fact: A recent survey from Citrix revealed that a majority of people who have never worked remotely (64%) would trade one highly popular life perk for just one work from home day a week (side note: I suddenly feel like a jerk for having two):
- 32% would give up their lunch break
- 25% would give up alcohol
- 20% would give up coffee
While the ask couldn’t be clearer, managers from all corners of today’s digitally-powered world are running into snags when it comes to responding. The same survey reports thathalf of office workers claim their boss straight up opposes remote working, while a third feel their boss merely tolerates it, and only 15% have a boss that actually encourages working out of the office.
From a consumer standpoint, being able to directly interact with companies and brands on social media platforms is pretty great. You get cool stuff like coupons, the most up-to-date news, event invites, location-based perks, etc. But most importantly, the public nature of digital interaction means you get a voice.
On the flip side, the social media phenomenon has been like a swift kick in the pants for businesses — especially their marketing departments.
As the need for innovation accelerates, so does a general misunderstanding of how to apply it. Indeed, “innovation” is becoming a buzzword, and as anyone who’s been hanging out in the tech industry for just about any amount of time can tell you, that equals foggy misuse and, even worse, overindulgence.
Research indicates that happiness is a stronger predictor of business success than job satisfaction. Happy people consistently outperform their dour coworkers and attain better, more fulfilling positions. If you’re a cricket player, being happy even increases your batting average!
But if happiness is so critical to business productivity and success, it raises the question: How do you measure happiness? What makes a happy employee? What makes anyone happy at all? How can businesses facilitate a positive environment at work without resorting to lunch hour sing-a-longs?