UK organisations lack marketplace agility and organisational flexibility

Less than one in four UK organisations is flexible enough to react to changes in today’s fast paced, competitive marketplace, according to new research.

Only 22% of organisations have the necessary ‘agility’ to respond quickly to customer demands, adapt to solve problems or offer flexibility in their approach. Overall, the study – by the Institute of Customer Service, in association with the Advanced Institute of Management Research (AIM Research) – shows that flexible/agile organisations have higher productivity, sales growth and satisfaction than non-agile organisations.

The study, ‘Agility in Services – Capabilities for Difficult Times’, carried out by London Business School, analyses the concept of agility in relation to performance and improvement. It reveals that most organisations have much to do in order to become agile, and sets out a four-step ‘roadmap’ to help them build agile systems according to their needs.

This research should act as a wake-up call to organisations. It clearly demonstrates that being customer-focused is not enough. Organisations need to be agile across multiple fronts to meet the changing needs of customers.”

Organisational Flexibility and Agility is defined as ‘the ability to respond rapidly and effectively to unpredictable change and turbulent markets’. It combines two important components:

• Responsiveness - the ability to respond to a wide range of externally-induced changes; and
• Multi-competence - the capability to excel simultaneously in multiple criteria so that the organisation can easily realign itself to meet changed consumer demands.

The study’s analysis of the capabilities required for agility in UK organisations revealed service quality, a flexible workforce and rapid new service development to be the most significant, although it was also evident that only a limited number of organisations had the ability to make changes rapidly.

Key Performance can help facilitate this vital organisational change.

Flexible Organisations

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