Next time you make this mistake, consider it as a lesson in business agility.
It is dark in the house, and for whatever reason, you are stumbling around in your sock feet. Maybe the dog was barking at something, or perhaps the slice of key lime pie in the refrigerator was making altogether too much noise. But now, the lights are off, and you are making your way back to bed.
We all know where this is going. You are barely awake, so even though you know the furniture placement and layout of your home, you will snag your toe on something — an end table, a door jamb. Maybe hard enough that the rest of the house is awoken as the result of your verbal outburst.
Next time you make this mistake, consider it as a lesson in business agility. In the dark, you can’t even navigate your familiar surroundings. Now, imagine attempting this feat in a constantly changing landscape where rooms are re-arranged and furniture re-positioned unpredictably. This is exactly what many of us are doing in our businesses every day.
The Rapid Change of Business Dynamics
With the growing multiplicity of business models, increasing complexity and globalization and other factors, the dynamics of our business are changing rapidly, and we lack the knowledge required to navigate this changing landscape without stubbing our toe. Of course these waking hour missteps in business will cost us more than a bruise and our dignity, however. We may miss customer-facing obligations, run afoul of regulation or fail to capitalize on fortuitous events, giving our competitors a foothold.
The growing complexity and diversity of business is one problem that we cannot do much about. What we can do, in our nocturnal sojourn as well as our daytime labors, is have the common sense to turn on the light. Without knowledge of the operational elements of our business, we cannot make good decisions based on the facts on the ground. It is this simple truth that we look at in the latest whitepaper installment in the vaunted Business Agility Series.
This whitepaper, Improving operational knowledge – Three Challenges for Greater Agility, offers advice on:
- Understanding the status of your business at any given time.
- Ensuring that the right people have access to the right information at the right time.
- Forecasting and modeling the impact of future business change.
Operational knowledge is important according the whitepaper because:
“Businesses that base decisions upon data and analytics have in fact been found to outperform rivals who rely simply on instinct. According to research carried out by CapGemini and the Economist Intelligence Unit, ‘firms that emphasize decision-making based on data and analytics have performed 5-6 percent better—as measured by output and performance—than firms that rely on intuition and experience for decision making.'”
Shuffling through the house in the dark or making decisions about a complex global business, the message is clear. Intuition is not a reliable guide. Turn on the lights.