How to Improve Organizational Maneuverability in Difficult Situations

When an organization faces difficulties associated with external forces like a rapid changing economy for example, the entire structure needs a certain level of adaptability to maintain forward progress and growth.

This level of agility has become exceptionally important during the Covid-19 virus epidemic when unforeseen events have forced companies to effectively increase their maneuverability and professional agility in order to minimize disruption and maintain or even increase success markers.

Maneuverability and Resilience in an Organization

These terms focus on two aspects of the same issue. When faced with any type of difficulty, disruptions occur in the standard operating procedure that has worked in the past and was expected to work into the future.

Maneuverability exists when a plan has been put into place to preemptively handle these difficulties. Resilience is the organization’s ability to respond quickly and effectively to minimize disruption and prevent potential fallout.

How an organization prepares and responds depends largely on the type of issue that arises. However, it is impossible to create a specific plan for every potential issue. Instead, leaders must take a holistic view of operations in order to immediately know how to respond when something unexpected happens.

Operate Optimally at All Times

The ship at sea uses ballast to stay upright even if a rogue wave appears. Organizations can prevent distress during difficult situations if they work this type of stability into their everyday business practices. Depending on the type of organization you operate, this could mean everything from always ensuring the highest quality control on products to tracking and utilizing emerging technologies on a regular basis to creating relevant crisis scenario’s.

The moment uncertainty arises, the top executives including the CEO, board members, and others should already know what parts of the business exist to prevent an extreme effect. This allows them to effectively direct lower level executives and managers to keep things running smoothly.

Protect the Organization’s Core

An organization’s mission statement and placement in an industry or marketplace are the fundamental things that need protection in difficult times. The immediate focus should switch to maximum benefits for the target audience or consumers. Condense organizational focus to products or services that provide the highest amount of value for the people you need to stick with your brand through the challenges you face.

This involves operational, financial, and employee-related decisions. Unfortunately, cutting costs and laying off some of the workers may happen. However, quickly identifying and protecting the core stabilizes the company while allowing for maneuverability where possible.

Keep Communication Open

Perhaps the most important criteria for establishing and maintaining maneuverability in any type of challenging situation is clear and open communication. This not only matters within the board and between different departments, but also between organization representatives and stakeholders, marketing channels, and the target market who expects a level of constancy from the company providing the products and services they want.

Maneuverability works when everyone is on board and understands the changes necessary to get back on the right track. Part of this includes establishing clear definitions about the roles that people have in any decision-making processes. The last thing you want is a “too many chefs in the kitchen” situation.

No matter what type of difficulty and organization faces, whether it is a global economic downturn, a disruptive pandemic, or local or specific market instability, both maneuverability and resilience matter. Establishing a strategy of value, protecting core goals and assets, and opening lines of communication are all integral parts of maintaining operations and exceeding expectations in challenging times.