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Business Agility: Sustainable Prosperity in a Relentlessly Competitive World by Michael H. Hugos

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Chapter 3. Principles of the Responsive Organization

As the realities of the relentlessly competitive, real time economy continue to sink in, more and more people realize that making their companies agile and responsive to continuous change will be the best way for them to compete in their markets. Unless a company is the low price leader in its industry, competing on price and efficiency alone will not be enough to succeed. Companies realize their greatest asset is the customers they sell to, and the best way to grow and enhance that asset is to stay in constant touch with those customers and keep changing as their customers change.

Responsiveness means being aware of market trends and evolving customer desires. Responsive companies listen carefully to what customers say; they watch what sells and what does not; and they are always on the lookout for opportunities to modify existing products and services or introduce brand-new products and services. And when they see their opportunities, they act. They don't dither. They know time is of the essence.

MORE COORDINATION, LESS CONTROL

Let's talk about what it means to be responsive and agile. There's a right way and a wrong way to do it, and often the right way seems counterintuitive at first ... until you get the hang of it.

The counterintuitive part is that to be agile and responsive, a company has to place less controls on people, not more. Because people need to move more quickly and need to coordinate more closely with each other, ...

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