SMEs stand for small and medium sized enterprises and are said to make up over 99% of the business sector, according to Simply Business.
A company employing 250 people or less, SMEs are categorized as small, medium sized or micro businesses depending on the actual number of staff employed and amount of business turnover created. Small by definition compared to a big conglomerate; the temptation of business giants may be to “look down” on these lesser-sized rivals.
However, some large corporations could learn a lot from the methodology of small business agility offered by change management courses. They may take some of the ways in which small businesses are dealing with change and apply them to their own businesses on a larger scale to ensure there are more effective and agile.
What is small business agility?
This may sound like one of the latest project management buzzwords, but business agility is not an ethos that should be ignored no matter whether your company employs 25, 250 or 2500 people. In an ever changing business environment – adopting an agile approach ensures you can quickly make the shift to embracing positive changes and rolling with the punches when things feel more uncertain and this is something SMEs tend to do only too well.
The advantages of SMEs
The smaller size of an SME means it never loses sight of the “bigger picture”. Having responsibility for less employees can mean a business is more “hands on”, extremely aware of its profit margins and no-one or nothing is left to fall through the cracks.
In comparison, cracks can quickly appear in corporations employing larger numbers of people and complacency is often overlooked unless the chain of command is tight. To use an analogy; a smaller ship can turn quicker and go faster than a bigger ship. Being able to master the changing and often challenging tides of the business world is the methodology of small business agility.
How to be agile like a boss
Being agile therefore, means to be able to respond to change quickly and effectively and larger project management companies would do well to heed this advice. Substantial projects may take some time to complete and it is no good having a destination if the landscape itself has changed by the time you get there!
If you work as a PM in a large corporation it is more important than ever to keep your eye on the ball; a change management specialist will advise you to constantly monitor your environment and set small goals that can be adapted at any time during the process.
The human touch
A central theme of business agility is a people centered approach where you work with your employees; listening to them and supporting them rather than giving orders.
How to inspire agility in your team
- Inspire confidence, motivation and creativity
- Don’t be afraid to take a risk
- Put people first
- Offer flexible hours
- Show trust by handing over responsibility
- Break goals into small tasks
- Be transparent to build trust and loyalty
- Perfect the process on the way