What does adaptability in business look like? How can being adaptable keep your company afloat?
Adaptability in business means being willing and able to adjust your business model or processes to better meet the changing needs of your customers. Learning how to be adaptable can make your business stronger and more likely to succeed.
Read on to learn how to make your business more adaptable and what benefits this can bring.
Why Does Your Company Need to Be Adaptable?
The company needs to be adaptable to remain successful and continue its mission after you leave. Adaptability in business means company leadership is willing to change the work processes its employees use or even the company’s business model and industry. Being willing to change lets the company continuously develop better ways to improve people’s lives. In contrast, failing to adapt can put your company out of business.
(Shortform note: Some describe continuing your mission as the primary goal, even if you must change business models or industries to do so. But how can a company survive such massive change? In Built to Last, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras say that you must identify a few important, unchanging values that will guide your company’s decisions and help you continue your mission. The stability of these values helps your company remain cohesive and successful despite major changes. For example, our logging company may value quality and sustainability. Even if the company’s specific products or working methods change, it’ll keep making quality products in sustainable ways, thus upholding its mission.)
To be adaptable, hold quarterly meetings with your department heads. Experts suggest two key topics for these meetings: First, evaluate whether each department’s processes are helping your company succeed and complete its mission. This lets you fine-tune your processes and quickly resolve problems. Second, brainstorm ideas for other, yet-to-exist companies that could put you out of business. This gives you a big-picture view of your business model and competitors, which lets you fill any gaps in your company’s offerings and adapt to major changes in your industry.
(Shortform note: This advice is directed toward helping a company uphold its mission, but it could also apply to helping an individual uphold a personal mission. In Built Through Courage, Dave Hollis says that everyone has a purpose (or mission). He emphasizes the importance of honestly evaluating your daily behaviors and environment (your processes, if you will) to make sure they’re supporting your purpose. If you don’t, you risk being held back by bad habits or wasted time. He also recommends imagining different paths you could take in life (such as a career change) because it helps you recognize that you have options and you can make big changes to improve your life.)