Business Agility Case Study COVID 19
Business Agility is THE mindset.
Business Agility is all about the business culture, the culture shaped in today’s ever changing and challenging economy.
How can small and large businesses benefit from the Agile mindset and Agile ways of approaching business challenges regardless of the sector they operate in? Let’s have a look at two case studies.
The first case study discussed presents the Sliabh Liag Distillers https://www.sliabhliagdistillers.com, who impressively adopted to new circumstances they found themselves in once Covid-19 hit and suddenly their regular sales channels came to a halt.
They reviewed the regulatory requirements around selling alcohol online. At the time, no other distiller had ever done so in Ireland. The law was very vague, so they took a risk and went for it. Within a space of three weeks, they launched a new website and become the 1st ever distiller in Ireland selling directly to the end customer. They released some special edition whiskeys online and within four weeks they sold out because they had absolutely no competition.
Moreover, during that time there was a shortage of hand sanitizers, so they looked into a different vertical and in a partnership with another local company, they created a completely different product – a hand sanitizer, using their waste alcohol. As a result, they not only created an additional revenue stream for the future, but also fulfilled their mission of positively contributing to their community by donating high-in-demand hand sanitizers to the local businesses.
Thinking outside of the box to start and then utilizing Agile ways of working (iterative delivery, short feedback loops, collaborative approach and regular retrospectives) was the key contributor to their success. There’s no time to get things perfect, do something small, iterate, get something out there to validate if what you’re thinking make sense to the others and correct the course if necessary. James Doherty, the owner of the company advises; “be brave, and be courageous, and constantly ask yourself what you could do differently and what you could do better”.
By responding to change they have increased their competitive advantage, and they set a new precedence for how distillers engage with customers.
The next case study is a big, well-established organization – one of the top seven oil and gas companies in the world (supermajors) – BP.
BP looked at the patterns, analyzed data, and observed that the world was shifting in a new direction and as a result they completely changed their strategy. They are reimaging and reinventing themselves now as an energy company.
It is extremely challenging and difficult to think innovatively and do something differently and question the status quo when one is already doing well and there is a history of success behind.
Although, developing the growth mindset, understanding what we need to do as an organization to change and become more competitive is crucial.
Modern, Agile Organizations will have some things in common;
Purpose over Profits
They will be driven by their mission. BP’s mission is to make the planet a better place for everyone (“to reimagine energy for people and our planet”). They have a clear vision and they can quickly assess if the decisions they’re making fits within their purpose.
Collaboration and partnership over competition
BP is also very collaborative, and they cooperate with some different research institutions, and have plans to partner with up to 15 major cities worldwide helping them to meet targets of net zero emissions.
“We plan to continue the search for partnerships that can help us drive progress, provide skills we may not have, and help us shape the future together.”
They have a long-term vision defining where they want to be by 2050, which is divided into more actionable, short-term and medium-term aims and objectives. So, purpose drives them into a right direction and smaller goals, allow them to periodically inspect, adapt and change their tactics if necessary.
The best place to start with inspecting, either inspecting what has been done so far or trying something new, is to look at data and some evidence to support the decisions the organization is making (evidence-based decision making)
Agile mindset is ever-growing mindset. People strive to be curious and open-minded; seek new ways of approaching challenges, be innovative, challenge status quo in a constant search for improvement and frequently question what can be done differently, what are the observed trends and patterns.
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