What makes
companies agile?

Defeating complexity with a high performance organisation

Authors: Stefan Zirhan

What makes companies agile?

Defeating complexity with a high performance organisation

If you stand still, you lose. "Agility" is traded in the business world as an imperative for sustainable success in a dynamic and uncertain world, but has basically always been the natural survival principle of organizations. A high degree of corporate agility ensures adaptability and provides competitive advantages, especially in difficult times. Agile companies are therefore successful companies.

The key to mobility lies at the core

Often, the performance limits of a company only become apparent in critical situations such as currently a combination of inflation, raw material shortages and supply chain problems. Whether changes or a realignment can be initiated and implemented quickly depends to a large extent on the complexity of the operational processes. Often, strategic initiatives fail because the organization is too complex and therefore static.

Fig. 1: Static vs. dynamic high-performance organisation
Fig. 1: Static vs. dynamic high-performance organisation

Typical characteristics of static organizations are evolved structures with a high level of coordination, silo thinking or unclear collaboration at the interfaces, complicated decision-making paths, fragmented process landscapes and non-transparent workflows. Superficial measures, from agile working methods such as Design Thinking or Scrum to New Work concepts, but also classic Lean programs, fall short here. The key to more speed and agility lies at the core of the organization.

Agile companies are high performance organisations

High performance companies are the essence of the agile organization. They are more efficient (higher EBIT), have more satisfied customers and employees, react faster in crisis situations, and are more successful on the market overall. Their ability to adapt and innovate is structurally and culturally embedded, processes are consistently aligned with strategy, and complexity is greatly reduced.

Fig. 2: Characteristics and advantages of the high-performance organisation
Fig. 2: Characteristics and advantages of the high-performance organisation

The key success factors of the high-performance organization and thus the prerequisite for more agility and sustainable performance increases are thus summarized:

  • Clear strategic positioning and focus on value-added services
  • Consistent, process-based business model and organization linked to strategy
  • Empowerment for control and self-responsibility

Does your company exhibit characteristics of static organizations? Does the complexity in the company slow down the successful implementation of strategic initiatives? Or do competitors react faster to market changes?

For decades, hpo has specialized in the design and operationalization of dynamic high-performance organizations. With our holistic, process-oriented approach to enterprise design, we identify the potential of your organization or a subarea based on the criteria for high performance and release it step by step together with decision makers and employees - until the solution is implemented with measurable results.

Interested? Contact us

Stefan Zirhan
Stefan Zirhan


+41 44 787 60 04

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Who is hpo?

hpo makes companies more successful and more innovative. The strategy consultancy for enterprise design boasts more than 25 years of experience in the creation of strategies and organisations spanning many different industries. The management consultants at hpo specialise in the meticulous development of strategies, processes, business models, innovation and culture, and in accompanying the transformation.

The hpo design approach enables companies to better cope with strategic and organisational challenges and to realise substantial competitive advantages. The basis of the industry-spanning design approach is an academically grounded methodology with which high performance organisations are shaped and which is continually further developed with the latest findings from research and practice.

The management consultants at hpo come from a commercial or technology background and stand out with their high level of analytical and emotional intelligence. They are passionate in their dedication to the client’s concerns and enjoy working in a team.

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