Speed is crucial for companies in the manufacturing sector.
As new technologies and trends emerge, companies that don’t respond quickly risk being left behind.
In an age of constant innovation, it’s no wonder that there’s such a high demand for “agility.” In fact, some studies suggest that agility and adaptability are characteristics of the best employees. After all, those who can respond well to challenges, predict upcoming trends, and stay strong under pressure are always an excellent addition to a team.
Agile leaders are the individuals responsible for balancing the people, innovations, and processes that drive success in the modern world. Research even indicates that these employees are more effective at growing business bottom lines.
Here’s why it might be time for you to work on your agile leadership skills.
1. Agile Leadership Solves Problems Before They Arise
As the manufacturing space transforms, the most amazing candidates will be those who can take advantage of the change.
Many bigger manufacturing companies struggle to implement new technologies quickly due to the complexity of their products. However, the right agile leaders can simplify the product cycle by mentoring staff members and introducing new processes.
For instance, Tesla’s owner Elon Musk saw the trends for autonomous driving coming for years before his competitors. To make sure Tesla was always ahead of the curve, Musk made sure his independent driving hardware featured software connections he could use for future upgrades. Now, the company cuts costs by simply updating their systems, instead of replacing them.
With agile leadership, Tesla keeps costs low and innovation high. As an agile leader for your company, you can drive the same efficiency by:
- Constantly auditing your manufacturing line and looking for opportunities to improve.
- Reacting quickly to issues, and getting the whole team involved in finding creative solutions.
- Examining your marketplace and keeping up to date with the latest trends.
2. Agile Leadership Improves Customer Satisfaction
An agile leader makes Amazon one of the most successful companies in the world. Jeff Bezos is always ready to think outside of the box and embrace informed risks for the benefit of his company.
When the nature of eCommerce began to change, Amazon could have continued selling books. However, Bezos branched out into new marketplaces too, adapting his business strategy to suit the world envisioned for the future.
Amazon’s willingness to take risks meant it was the first major company to purchase drones for product deliveries. Jeff Bezos also invested in fuel-cell manufacturing partners to charge the electric vehicles in its fleet faster, and deliver products more rapidly. Now, Amazon’s agile strategies have led to millions of satisfied customers.
3. Agile Leadership Improves Efficiency and Performance
The International Journal of Science and Engineering says that agile leaders “survive and prosper” in times of “unpredictable change.” As an agile leader, you’ll be able to respond positively to the challenges that your organisation faces and implement quick resolutions too.
For instance, the leaders of the Dell computer company jumped to action when slow growth indicated they weren’t manufacturing new technology fast enough. By responding to the issue straight away and altering the production process, Dell reduced downtime in its factories by up to 75%.
Agile leaders regularly audit and assess their business operations to find opportunities to improve. This drive for constant growth and development means that manufacturing companies with agile leaders stay on the cutting edge of the industry.
4. Agile Leadership Keeps You ahead of the Competition
Finally, technology expert Steve Jobs once said that sometimes innovation leads to mistakes. However, as an agile leader, Steve knew it was best to make those mistakes quickly and learn from them. Steve Jobs’ growth mindset and mental toughness made him one of the tech sector’s most renowned icons to date.
Through agile methodologies, like the willingness to explore new ideas, innovate, and stay calm in the face of challenges, Steve Jobs led Apple to incredible success.
Agile leaders aren’t afraid of failure. They embrace opportunities to learn and reflect on their experiences. Although it can be difficult to take risks in any business, agile leaders know that thinking outside of the box is the best way to differentiate themselves in a crowded market.
As an agile leader in the manufacturing space, you can make sure that your organisation is always one step ahead.