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Flexibility: The Difference Between Triumph and Disappointment

Charles de Gaulle, the famous French statesman and WWII general, said, “You have to be fast on your feet and adaptive, or else a strategy is useless.” He’s talking about being flexible. The same focus should be placed on business strategy. Strategy requires business leaders to constantly evaluate whether the existing approach is getting them the desired results.

Today’s results-oriented environment places pressure on executives to bring successful strategies into the business, and then tasking operations to execute that strategy. If a company is limited in its ability to execute on strategies because of weak internal skill sets or inferior systems, the viability of any business strategy becomes suspect.

The key to staying competitive is the flexibility to execute on all of your strategies; hiring the right people and having the right systems to support those initiatives is the core of that endeavor. The challenge always revolves around putting the right resources in the right places to achieve the desired results. Finding resources that have multiple competencies is one of the easiest ways to remain nimble and responsive to changing market needs.

When interviewing candidates for open positions, it is easy to get caught up in the “X’s and O’s” of a specific position, and look for the candidate that can fill that slot. The challenge in a changing business environment is that jobs can and do change. Finding that person with a solid skillset coupled with the ability to change and adapt can often give a business a competitive advantage as conditions shift.

The same is true of systems. Having an internal system that is only good in one area often leads to operational headaches, loss of productivity, and delays in bringing new products and offerings to market. It is important in today’s rapidly changing environment to look for systems that will allow a business to change and adapt without having to implement new systems.

Make sure that as you evaluate your new talent that you understand what else they have to offer. New markets and products come out every day, so don’t let your choice in resources constrain your business.

Stay flexible, stay strong, stay successful.

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