Make Your Company More Agile

Tell me, would you know the answer to the following question? How many people are freelancing in your country? In the Netherlands (my homeland), there are nearly one million freelancers. That’s roughly 14 % of the Dutch workforce. According to a survey conducted by Fortunly in the U.S., almost 34% of the U.S. population is freelancing.

It is a direct consequence of technology changes that offer ample opportunities for matching jobs to workers. A headline in the Economist says it all: “The future of work: there’s an app for that”. Citing the article: “There’s a large number of startups built around systems which match jobs with independent contractors on the fly, and thus supply labor and services on demand.” Handy, Washio, Uber, Medicast, and a lot more. It’s no wonder my number one business trend for 2016 is agility and freelancing. “Traditional” companies have to tap (more) into the pool of freelancers. Why? According to Fortune, it will make your company more agile.

Necessary to face the competition with start-ups (see also branch ‘Competition’) and with seemingly at first non-competitive industries (branch interindustry). Classic examples are Apple (which started as a personal computer company revolutionizing e.g. the music publishing industry), Uber (revolutionizing the taxi industry), and Bunq (revolutionizing the baking sector). What is interesting about the last one is that this Dutch start-up got a formal banking license from DNB (the central bank of the Netherlands).

2016 trend – From dinosaurs to pumas

As you can notice, the most striking feature of the mind map of business trends 2016 is the significance of the agility factor. Three branches (tap into freelancers, flatten the organization, and lean organization model) refer to that. Agility refers to the “dynamic capability enabling an organization to respond in a timely, effective, and sustainable way when changing circumstances require it” (source: strategy + business).  This reminded me of something I have read: “dinosaurs must learn to become pumas.” I believe it captures the essence of agility that is definitely needed in a fast and continuously changing business environment.

*Download this mind map from the following link: Business Trends 2016.

While at trends, let’s get visual

To write a blog like this I usually use the canvas of iMindQ to fill it simultaneously with ideas and information I find on the internet. Just as you would do with post-its on a whiteboard. Usually, it takes no more than 30 to 35 minutes to finish the mind map to a level where I have the confidence to start writing the blog. Arguably you could say this is – for such a short time – a complete view and pretty easy and fast to digest.

So, it comes as no surprise that presenting data, information, results, and strategies in a more visual way is another business trend. Visual language makes it easier to share and digest information and to communicate the actions that need to be taken. The visual language will help you in becoming a puma. What do you think?

About the author

Hans Buskes is a business consultant, marketing communications manager, and mind mapper. He’s the author of several mind map books and mind map blogger on Mastermindmaps.