Even though it’s no secret that small to medium-sized businesses often have vastly fewer resources in comparison to larger enterprises, prioritizing agility is just as critical for their survival. This is because, in today’s world, where a variety of unpleasant surprises can arise at any time, you must be well prepared to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Recent events, such as the pandemic, supply chain issues, war, inflation and The Great Resignation, serve as explicit indicators of why your SMB needs to be agile.

When the needs of your customers, employees, the market, the economy and other factors change, agile businesses can adapt quickly and keep working toward their business goals. To be agile, you must have systems in place that allow you to respond quickly to rapidly changing conditions and opportunities by preparing your people, processes and technologies.

However, agility doesn’t happen overnight. You will encounter setbacks that can make your agility journey a bumpy ride. Knowing that is the first step towards business agility.

Keep an eye out for these bumps along the way

On your journey to organizational agility, watch out for these 5 roadblocks*:

1. Survival mentality

In the context of agility, this refers to a business unit’s unwillingness to adopt innovations due to risk-averse mindsets or the perceived risk of innovations gobbling up existing business.

2. Workplace politics

Whenever a business unit’s goals and priorities are misaligned, it’s probably due to workplace politics. It can lead to the dispersal of innovation efforts and the establishment of competing innovation units within the same enterprise, stretching resources and diluting the impact.

It could also take the form of a refusal to restructure the innovation portfolio to focus on a few mission-critical priorities, preferring instead to keep “pet projects” going for long periods of time.

3. Information silos

Information silos prevent business units from sharing information. When information – or any other valuable asset, such as core talent – is hoarded and kept hidden from others, the entire company suffers. Information