Tip Sheet: Boosting operational speed and agility

Last updated on July 1st, 2019 at 12:25 pm

As the rise of e-commerce, Amazon and new technologies have transformed today’s consumer market, large consumer goods companies are feeling pressure to reduce reaction time. In an article recently published by Mckinsey & Co., authors Patrick Guggenberger and Patrick Simon argue consumer-facing companies need to find ways to “(reduce) the time needed from product development to shelf, shortening payback periods on R&D investments, and capturing market trends and sales opportunities before competitors do.”

They suggest six employee-focused action steps to promote that shift:

  1. “Give power to your people.”
    Take a hands-off approach to leadership by allowing agile employees and teams enough autonomy to use their own judgments and follow through on tasks.
  2. “Foster an entrepreneurial mindset.”
    Using the mantra, “If you were the owner, what would you do?” guide smaller, cross-functional teams to pursue original ideas, even if it ends in occasional failure.
  3. “Make change personal.”
    Find motivational role models to help depict what it means to work more efficiently and effectively.
  4. “Offer a change narrative.”
    Developing the “how” and “why” of the company’s plans to improve will help employees better understand the transformation process.
  5. “De-stack and de-clutter.”
    Promote companywide focus by doing away with time-draining and unnecessary meetings, events and travel when possible. Video conferences and phone calls are better options.
  6. “‘Let go’ in a healthy way.”
    For globally-based companies, put more responsibilities into the hands of local entrepreneurs, who “have their finger on the pulse of local tastes more than headquarters ever can.”

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