Press release

Organisational agility drives financial performance

28 March 2019

Organisational agility is a major factor in driving financial performance, according to new research from PA Consulting, the global innovation and transformation consultancy.

PA’s research found that organisational agility is the single most important factor in responding to rapid technology, customer and societal change. The top 10 per cent of businesses by financial performance are almost 30 per cent more likely to display characteristics of agility. Organisational agility enables large-scale companies to thrive, delivering higher all-round performance, with positive benefits for customers, shareholders and employees.

However real and lasting organisational agility remains elusive for many. Three in five business leaders know they need to change yet are struggling to act. PA’s research found that:

  • one in six survey respondents predict that they will fail in five years without rapid and radical change
  • two thirds of leaders believe their business model needs a fundamental rethink
  • 60 per cent cite complex organisational structures are slowing them down
  • 72 per cent are putting organisational agility as a top strategic priority
  • business leaders are more worried about disruption from digital natives than traditional competitors 

Conrad Thompson, a business transformation expert at PA Consulting, says: “Businesses around the world face unprecedented disruption but also unprecedented opportunities. As radical change transforms the world we live in, organisations must evolve at pace. One in six of the companies we surveyed acknowledged that unless they evolve, they risk failure within five years. Yet we see organisational agility efforts transforming well-established financial institutions, household names, and industry stalwarts, establishing the conditions that have made them fit for the future. This research, and our experience, proves that embracing organisational agility is the most effective way to get ahead of the competition, and ensure your organisation thrives, today and tomorrow.”

What it takes to achieve organisational agility 

PA has identified five attributes key to organisational agility and common to the high performing companies we surveyed:

  1. Centre on your customer – place your organisation at the centre of your customer’s universe, co-creating and prioritising based on their feedback

  2. Speed up time to value – make decisions and mobilise quickly in response to competition, rolling out improvements faster than competitors and investing in moving from idea to launch at pace

  3. Design for simplicity – flatten hierarchical layers to enable teams to build, test, adapt, then deploy, learn and repeat in a strategic, methodical way

  4. Build to evolve – build modular digital systems that can flex easily to respond to changing requirements, seek out and accept changes at any point in the development cycle, and build teams that cope well with change

  5. Liberate your people – create a work environment that’s dynamic, encourages collaborative work practices and where employees are empowered at all levels.

Sam Bunting, an organisational agility expert at PA Consulting says: “At PA we believe in the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world. As a business leader right now, we’ve never been afforded a better opportunity to adapt and transform – to truly understand our customers’ motivations, to harness the power of technology to create ingenious products and services and to find creative and effective ways to engage and empower our people. We’ve seen first-hand how organisations can beat their numbers and deliver higher all-round performance as a result of taking these five perfectly achievable steps.”

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