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Agility in Work: Doing More with Less

What can you do to maintain your operation when good workers seem to be in short supply? 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, our world has been using the word “unprecedented” at unprecedented rates. And it seems we keep finding new ways to define and use the term. Chances are, your business has been drastically impacted by the economic conditions that surround us. The small businesses that survived the mandated shutdowns from the pandemic were catapulted into a wide range of management and operational roadblocks that, even if taken on one-at-a-time, would be enough to force business owners to drastically change courses. From inflation and supply chain issues to revolving doors of employees and the inability to fill essential roles with capable people, challenges abound.  

So how are we to manage our business in the midst of this chaos? One of the biggest ways we’re able to do this is with agility

Agility refers to a company’s ability to adjust its process without stopping its operation.  


Our company’s agility speaks most clearly and highly about our people. If you have the right people on your team, you won’t need to worry nearly as much about the responsibilities they’re given. Employees that are committed to the vision of the organization willingly move outside of their official duties to get the job done. So if you have good people, be sure to reward them for their hard work. Pay them well. Include them in problem solving discussions and listen to their suggestions. The more you keep your existing workforce engaged and involved, the more your company can adapt to the environment. 


Sometimes necessity forces a change upon an organization. Changing your production schedule or your distribution process may seem like an impossible hurdle, but agility in this space may be essential. What makes companies capable of altering their processes is how committed they are to them. The old expression “the tale wagging the dog” speaks perfectly to this discussion. Some leaders, teams, and companies are more committed to their process than they are to productivity. They care more about following procedure than they care about ultimately accomplishing the vision and mission of the organization. If you can be the kind of company that keeps your people and mission front and center, you’ll realize that your processes are their to serve those things…not the other way around. 


The biggest lesson we’ve learned — and are continuing to learn — through this season is that we must learn to do more with less. We must find ways to maintain our operation, keep our high standards, and move toward our goals while not being equipped with the team, inventory, or resources that we would prefer.