We’ve all experienced disruption this past year. In our personal lives, many people are finding new hobbies to pass the time or getting caught up on their favorite binge-worthy television shows. In our professional lives, we’re working while trying to help our kids with online schooling or trying to work with colleagues in the office while staying six feet apart. Because of the global pandemic, the past year has been an absolute rollercoaster, but as difficult as it’s been, it has a silver lining. I’m not talking about the fresh sourdough bread you might have made (although that certainly isn’t a bad silver lining). The silver lining I’m talking about is actually disruption itself. Here’s why business disruption is actually good for your organization and how it will help your company continue to grow in the future.
Business Disruption Gives Your Organization a Workout
We often don’t put our organizations through stress. Imagine if you spent all day every day sitting in a chair and rarely ever got up to walk around. Your arms might be capable of doing things, but your legs would become weak over time until it would be difficult to walk. Organizations work in the same way. There are many muscles that support its healthy functioning and if we stop using some of them, they lose strength. The disruption over the past year forced many organizations to use muscles that usually don’t get much exercise. These muscles might have been weak at first but were eventually strengthened to help the business succeed. Maybe your organization relied on customers coming into a brick-and-mortar location to sell your product or services. Because of the pandemic, you'd have to shift how you delivered your goods and services. Maybe you developed a strong online presence to connect with new customers or figured out how to still deliver in person by streamlining processes. Having a stronger online presence or developing streamlined processes will continue to serve you as an organization in the future, and you would not have developed these skills without disruption.
Business Disruption Finds Critical Issues
Disruption will find the Achille’s heels in your organization. As disruption puts pressure on your organization, the pressure will build up and cause critical issues. As frightening as it is to discover these critical issues, you can’t fix them or prepare for them if you don’t know where they are. Organizations might have discovered there’s a critical resource that causes a bottleneck or that it can’t fulfill orders as quickly as it needs because of slow processes or technology. Organizations now know at what points in their business a critical failure can occur if a little pressure is applied and where they need to prepare to keep things running.
Business Disruption Leads to New Ideas
Most people are familiar with the proverb, “necessity is the mother of invention.” This past year has produced amazing new ideas both big and small as companies figured out how to continue to operate amidst social distancing regulations and changing demands. Hospitals had to create new procedures and spaces to treat patients safely, restaurants had to learn how to offer food when dine-in was unavailable and manufacturers had to figure out how they could deliver goods when they couldn’t get shipments from suppliers. From new technologies to new offerings, businesses conceived new ideas that didn’t just keep them open but changed them for the better.
Business Disruption Teaches Agility
When organizations were figuring out how to work safely, how to pivot their business and how to survive, they were actually learning to be agile. They were anticipating new demands, challenges and opportunities, adapting their plans to these things, and accelerating the delivery of work. We call this business agility and it’s a skill that many organizations practiced again and again without even knowing it.
- Anticipate - The ability to identify, foresee, or forecast demands, requirements, opportunities, threats, and changes.
- Adapt - The ability to decide when and how to change course and to take steps to do so.
- Accelerate - The ability to speed up the execution of projects and implementation of initiatives through improved productivity and effectiveness.
Business agility allows organizations to future-proof their business. Although the world will eventually return to normal again, there will always be more disruptions in the future. We can’t predict what these disruptions will be or when they will come, but organizations that know business agility will be able to persevere.
Using Meisterplan for Business Agility
Businesses will need to continually anticipate, adapt and accelerate. Meisterplan helps support organizations practicing business agility with lean and flexible software to manage project portfolios and resources. Meisterplan makes it easy to update your priorities, simulate new plans and accelerate delivery by focusing on the most important things. To see how organizations can use Meisterplan to achieve business agility, watch our free on-demand webinar.