Agility can be a critical factor contributing to the success of an entrepreneur. It is amazing how many are locked into a rigid way of thinking and continue day-in and day-out down the same path. Early in one’s life, habits and knowledge develop and it sometimes takes a significant event to cause one to change direction or the way they approach tasks.
If you worked in a military organization for a long period, you may well adopt a management style that works well in that organization. However, it may not be effective in a different environment. The people and conditions are all different. Many of the skills transfer, but adjustments may improve performance. If you ran three startups successfully, you may decide to run your fourth in exactly the same manner. However, change may be needed if the surroundings and business environment shift. Developing an agile way of thinking is an important factor to growth and a successful business.
Agility is a factor that can be a great asset to entrepreneurs. Developing agility requires some willingness to explore and take risks. Not high risks, but risks in trying something different and unfamiliar. It is with an agile approach that new paths and greater successes may evolve more readily. The following are steps that may help you start to develop your agility in running a startup.
1. Study – Learning as much as possible is always the first step. Knowing an area and as much as possible about the surrounding environment is essential. Whether planning a vacation or a new business venture, the knowledge you possess is essential to improving your chances of success. Learn as much as possible since the more you know the better advantage you can take of any given situation that may arise.
2. Plan – It is always essential to plan, otherwise, you never know where you would like to end up. Planning helps to cement the concepts in your thinking and gives you at least one possible route to the end. Making alternate plans is where you began to develop some skills that may make you more agile. It is considering alternatives and being prepared that gives one the confidence to make a shift in direction when needed. Great planning may even include alternative routes around key barriers.
3. Experiment – All your skill and knowledge is helpful, but occasionally experimenting with alternatives can provide new insight and direction. Testing the discussions with partners about a novel deal structures or asking the team for ideas are examples of experimentation with minimal risk. You gain insight and can integrate new ideas in your thinking. The experimentation will enhance your awareness of novel alternatives that may arise. Your goal must be to recognize new alternatives that increase your success and act quickly! The process of learning, planning, and experimentation will embolden you to make more agile adjustments in your activities. This is because you will have already given thought to what it means to take the steps.
4. Adjust – It is usually not possible to pick the perfect direction or activity on first try. Monitoring and adjusting can often help you advance a mediocre plan to a better level. You always want to improve the performance and return on your investments. Fine tuning and adjusting as needed can help you go further and faster. Staying on a rigid path is ok in many cases, but learning to be agile in your thinking will allow you to move faster and smarter toward a greater success level.
You can follow Taffy Williams on Twitter by @twilli2861 and you can email him with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact him via company contact info in the website. More Startup information is contained in his personal blog.