What Does Business Agility Even Mean In 2024?

In the art of not only running a business but providing advice based on your experiences. many buzzwords and definitions come to mind. Almost all of the time, these terms are used as quick referrals meant to demonstrate a more complex process, even if they don’t tell the whole story. So for example, “synergy” refers to how different departments of a business should work together for the optimization of the whole. But when you dig into this concept, it implies so much more than just communication, but mutually flattering systems, scaleability, development, and more.

So far, so good. But what if a term could obfuscate the true original meaning more than it helps? This is a common problem, especially in relation to the very many business blogs, influencing pages, private courses, and even conventions you could attend. In other words, there’s a great deal of talk, and very little action as far as some of these considerations go.

This begs the question, how might we iron out some of the most dispassionate terms and consider what they really mean? Well in this post, we intend to begin, by looking into the term “business agility” and considering not only what it means, how it’s defined, and why it’s relevant, but how to make use of its concepts in 2024.

What Does Agility Mean In General?

Agility, defined simply, is the ability to move quickly and easily. So it’s not just pace, it’s about that pace being a comfortable and capable part of your operations. It’s not just pure talent that allows an Olympic racer to sprint fast, but their running form, their training, and their ability to pace themselves well throughout the competition. As such, agility means not only operating quickly but doing so with substance.

Let’s consider what that might mean for business:

Rapid Adaptation To Market Changes

In 2020, businesses across the world encountered one of the starkest tests to their business agility than any other year. The international pandemic caused business closures and closed markets, and prevented entire industries from developing at the same pace they were used to. It’s interesting to see how some businesses were able to remain adaptable, while some weren’t. For example, some hospitality businesses managed to make it through by switching to food delivery and selling gift baskets, while others were unable to extend their services in this way and had to close.

Note that adapting to market change isn’t about changing your vision at any possible test to it, but taking stock regarding the stance of customer behavior. Think about how many apps are now integrating AI, from Microsoft implementing LLM tools into their main operating system, Windows, to apps like Notion allowing AI prompts within the app.

Agility means being able to see which way the wind is blowing, and quickly re-orient your sales in that direction.

Flexible Organizational Structures

Hierarchies are in no way “lesser” or somehow less ethical and staff-trusting than other means of running a company. It’s just that having many layers of management and oversight can be helpful depending on the enterprise. Militaries across the world are arguably in control of some of the most intensive systems and have the most pressing responsibilities, and they are rigidly hierarchical in scope. No one could accuse a military of lacking agility.

That being said, flexible organizational structures, especially in reference to modern working reality, could be an ideal stance to take in 2024. Think of Valve Software’s organizational structure, where the best ideas rise to the top and creativity is allowed to flourish. Think of how working with remote workers, vendors, and outsourced help is now more common than ever.

To manage this novel approach, you may use helpful software that processes payouts quickly and reliably, allowing you to work with vendors at pace while fulfilling the custom specifications of each project correctly.

Shredding Beauracracy

No business will ever be able to get away from the busy work that helps second-check and approve of vital next-step processes. Even if AI can automate much of the paperwork in the future, it’s true that a human will need to overlook certain practices to make sure the whole is being developed at pace and without mistakes leading to problems down the line.

But that doesn’t mean a company with an overwhelming amount of approvals and processes is going to be more effective than another. Quite the contrary, in fact. For this reason, ensuring you have systemic reviews of your oversight and review process is important. From there, you can also review accountability measures such as how issues are processed, how confidential they are, and how long it takes for your HR team to respond.

Optimization doesn’t always mean cutting into processes or preventing these multi-stage approaches, but it can certainly mean correct staffing, appropriate funding, ensuring system-wide software is available for the easy review and development of issues, and allowing staff to discuss issues they’re having while also developing rectifications for the future. Over time, this can help a brand develop almost more than anything else.

Continuous Learning & Improvement

Think of any random department of a business. Let’s say HR for example. We might think that human needs are pretty universal and understood at this point, especially what makes people tick at work. But think about just how much work and development has taken place in the last twenty years to ensure the workplace is a more welcoming space.

From developing systems to catch bad management, providing secure portals for staff complaints, integrating no-tolerance policies for harassment or discrimination, and making staff protocols clear to project privacy, all of this is highly important to get right, and innovations have taken place in that time to secure the appropriate outcomes.

So, agility is not just about making quick decisions or trimming the fat that prevents you from doing this, but also educating your team, understanding new standards, and refining yourself for the next projects you work on. Think about how major animation studios like Pixar or Dreamworks always seem to improve animation quality and rendering between projects. Is it because they just hire better animators each time? Of course not. It’s because they use their industry-leading experience, the adoption of brand-new tools, and the willingness to constantly innovate standards to remain at the top of their game.

In other words, a business that doesn’t make continual training and development part of its process simply cannot stay agile. After all, how can you be agile if you’re not sure which direction to remain agile in? You’re a runner without a road in these cases, and so foresight is always important to get right.


Scaleability is the name of the game as businesses develop, and you can bet that companies are more inclined to seek scalable opportunities when they can. Think of how Managed IT services now run much of the corporate landscape’s tech, which provides them the fibrous capabilities of operating their systems and prosecuting their business vision.

In the last ten years, we’ve seen such services expand into tiered subscription options, modular service selections, and adapting customized fits to each client. This is because not all clients will require the same treatment. 

This is especially true as companies grow, as dead weight and unused but paid-for services go from being a slight hindrance to a genuine drag if not correctly addressed. It’s not hard to see, then, why scaleability remains a concern. Would a gymnast be able to perform their majestic routine if wearing Wellington boots, a thick woolen jacket, and jeans? Or do they wear the best-elasticated fabric that remains breathable and helps move to the body’s natural rhythm?

As you can see, sometimes operating within your limits, and stretching those limits to where you’re operating, lies at the heart of scaleability, which is a fundamental pillar of expressing agility.

Integrating Remote Work & Virtual Collaboration As Standard

Even businesses with intense working cultures are starting to see the value in remote work and virtual collaboration. From being able to meet with your whole team no matter where they are in the world to making certain that offices working on different timelines have an intermediary, sometimes a remote worker can allow for quick and easy connections between departments. Sometimes, it can just help you attract the best talent out there, because more and more skilled professionals care about having a flexible working life.

Put simply, remote work isn’t just a nice stop-gap measure for the pandemic, nor a massive benefit for a staff member who should be thankful you’re saving them a commute. It can help companies stay agile, hire from a wider and better talent pool, and yes, even save a great deal of cash on renting out expensive office real estate when that never needed to be so budget-draining in the first place. As we can see, sometimes adapting to new standards means allowing our own business vision to remain as agile as possible. It’s quite amazing just how impactful such an approach can be.

With this advice, you’ll be certain to maximize business agility for the better, and learn as you tinker with systems and various optimizations.

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