Some big obstacles can hinder carriers looking to implement an integrated business strategy that promotes competitive agility.

Insurers looking to change their business strategy to bolster their competitive agility need to be wary of some hazardous pitfalls.

Changing business strategies is often complex and challenging. Implementing a comprehensive integrated strategy, that promotes growth, profitability and sustainability across the enterprise, can be especially daunting.

We’ve identified four major obstacles that can snag a journey to competitive agility.

Bad planning:  An integrated strategy that promotes competitive agility needs to be flexible and highly responsive. Strategic planning should be linked closely to the organization’s technology resources and all other key components of the business. Poor co-ordination in the early stages of strategic planning can easily scupper the change process. What’s more, budgeting for the transition needs to be completed early so that there is no conflict between the funding of traditional business activities and the allocating of resources to new initiatives that promote greater agility.  Misalignment of resources, conflicting priorities and misperceptions among the workforce, and the failure to implement new processes and practices can each jeopardize an organization’s transition to a new business strategy.

Fragmented projects: It’s often difficult to expand successful small teams and projects. This constraint restricts the spread of agile approaches across the enterprise. Competitive agility requires organizations to synchronize the timelines and scope of their innovation, development and implementation projects. This will ensure that strategy transformation deadlines and goals are attained.

Ineffective operations: Agile organizations need operating models that provide the business with speed and flexibility. Agility can be hindered by the incomplete integration of critical business tools and systems as well as a lack of automation in three key areas: regression testing, resource deployment and the roll-out of infrastructure. Rigid release schedules can also impair the speed and efficiency of development projects.

Intransigent culture: The shift to competitive agility requires an organization to change its culture as well as its operations. It’s essential that business leaders demonstrate their commitment to this transition. The workforce should understand why and how the transition is taking place. They must receive the training and education they require to support an agile organization. Where necessary, new skills and knowledge need to be brought into the business. Lack of attention to cultural transformation can quickly derail an organization’s efforts to attain competitive agility.

In my next blog post, I’ll discuss some of the key requirements for an effective agile methodology. Meanwhile, click on some of the links below. I’m sure you’ll find them useful.

Increasing agility to fuel growth and competitiveness.

Taking the agile transformation journey.

Formula Won: A new way to measure corporate competitiveness.

Disruption need not be an enigma.

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