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Leveraging Your Startup’s Strategic Agility in A Crisis


The coronavirus pandemic has been both catastrophic and educational for many founders. The silver lining has been the discovery of new skills helping founders to adapt to market changes. Like many crises, the pandemic revealed differentials in the startups who were able to flourish and the startups who were not. The startups who thrived were largely those who adapted and moved quickly to the market disruptions. In fact, old business models were thrown out the window and replaced by new policies and action-orientated approaches.

The ability to improve business performance amid disorder is known as strategic ability. This requires founders to take swift action in response to market conditions and implement innovative strategies decisively and resourcefully. This ability is essential not only during a disruption but for the ongoing success of your startup. At Allied Legal, we have outlined ways that your startup can leverage strategic agility to exit a crisis and reach ongoing success: 

Flexibility

According to the Harvard Business Review, strategic planning can become an anchor that locks an organisation on to a path that is no longer relevant. Founders should always be ready to manoeuvrer as needed and be willing to scrap previous plans. Being too rigid with old systems and structures may hinder your startup’s growth.

Speed

Successful founders are those who keep an ear to the ground, predicting future trends and opportunities, even amid crises. These founders are cognisant of the rapid and fluctuating nature opportunities come and go and are willing to pivot to take advantage of new developments. Even if you are at risk of getting it wrong, it is better to act quickly rather than wait for the market’s conditions to change.

Diversification

Though agility and adaptation are essential when responding to changes in the market, eventually you will need to look at your startup’s long-term strategy. Founders who can strategise ways they can utilise altered market conditions are likely to be more successful. This may involve diversifying your startup’s offering until circumstances stabilise.

Communication

As always, communication is key. This relates to a startup’s team at every level, from founders to those on the ground floor. It is crucial, particularly during a crisis, that there is a regular flow of information so that each team member understands your startup’s strategic plan. This will also help your team to feel empowered and part of the startup’s overall direction.

Education

The Harvard Business Review states that organisational cultures that reward risk taking, and tolerance failure move faster than those that don’t. ‘Failure’ should showcase a team’s willingness to take initiative and act quickly. A ‘no blame’ policy, for strategic decision making, may give your team confidence to think creatively and freely when it comes to steering out of a crisis. Once your startup has stabilised, it may also be a good idea to focus on upskilling your team and working on their professional development. Afterall, your team is one of your most important assets.

Key Takeaways

The last couple of years has been extremely challenging for many sectors. With the market permanently changed, now is the time to build and harness your startup’s strategic agility to ensure that your startup possesses the necessary infrastructure to avoid future disruptions. If you are worried about your startup’s exposure to risk, we recommend contacting a commercial lawyer.

Need help? Contact Us.

Your startup’s ability to adapt in a crisis may be the difference between your startup’s survival and collapse. At Allied Legal, we help startups to anticipate and avoid crises through our legal and sales service offerings. If you would like to speak with one our commercial lawyers, you can give us a call on 03 8691 3111 or send us an email at hello@alliedlegal.com.au.

You may also like our article Agile Versus Lean Startups.

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