Organizational Agility: Business Leaders Share Best Practices

A recent Workday study revealed that leaders in digital transformation exhibit high levels of performance across five key characteristics. Three executives share how companies can embed these behaviors into their businesses.

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Workday recently conducted a survey with 998 business leaders to better understand how companies are leveraging organizational agility to drive their digital growth. The research revealed that leaders in digital transformation exhibit high levels of performance across five key areas: continuous planning, fluid structures and processes, a future-proof workforce, informed decision making, and measurement and control.

So, how are companies embedding these characteristics into their businesses?

Richard Bye, vice president of HR services at BP; Jeanette Olson, vice president of technology services, corporate systems at Target; and John Mead, vice president of finance, financial applications at Ameriprise Financial, sat down with Bob Evans, founder of Cloud Wars Media Network, to share best practices and learnings from their own digital transformation journeys. 

Some of their key takeaways are below:

Start small. Jeanette Olson shared that one of Target’s key learnings was finding the right pace of innovation. To be impactful, the business needs to be able to catch up to the technology. Start small, create success, and build on that momentum over time. 

Find the right skills. Skills are constantly evolving to keep up with the changing world of work. In particular, John Mead shared the importance of hiring people with cognitive flexibility in finance. He believes that if you can’t handle change, you’re not going to be relevant. Change is happening so rapidly, so companies must be prepared for now and the future. 

Focus on problem solving. Richard Bye said companies should focus on organizing work around people who are most qualified to do the job, not around hierarchy. By putting people with the right set of skills on projects, it’ll help companies solve problems and finish projects more quickly and cheaply than following an org chart. Companies must be able to respond faster internally, and it starts with solving problems quickly. 

To learn how these companies came to be leaders in digital transformation, and how they’re preparing and planning for future disruption, watch their panel discussion at Workday Rising. You can also check out a keynote session from Workday Rising Europe to learn how European business leaders are enabling digital transformation within their organizations. 

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