Only agile firms will survive pandemic, digital disruptions

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has pushed numerous businesses on to their knees.
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has pushed numerous businesses on to their knees. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has pushed numerous businesses on to their knees. Those saddled with debts pre-Covid-19 are the most hit.

The pandemic is a wake-up call to enterprises and corporates whose foundations are built on sand to reorganise quickly amid the unprecedented disruption.

Many businesses including blue chip companies have been forced to carry out organisation-wide rightsizing resulting in reduction of staff. Others have been shut down, leading to lose of jobs among menial and white collar workers.

But is not all doom and gloom as the pandemic period has thrown up opportunities as well. Businesses, therefore, have to embrace a paradigm shift if they are to capture these opportunities amid the threats. It is now business unusual. Only organisations that are agile and specifically embracing holacracy and digital disruption will withstand the turbulence.

Agility is the ability of an organisation to adapt quickly to internal and external market changes, respond rapidly and flexibly to opportunities and threats, adapt and add competitive value. The salient principles of agility are anchored on structure, process and people.


The directives issued by WHO like physical distancing will change the way we organise ourselves at work places and this calls for changes.

Corporate agility is significantly important since the future is ever unpredictable, with the world and technology changing ever faster.

Agile businesses adopt a holacracy organisational structure, which is a new approach to management through a system of rules to obtain order without the needs for bosses. Agile companies provide mechanisms for quickly assembling teams with the right talent to address the blend of challenges and opportunities. Holacracy states that business standard operating procedures are not cast in stone hence affording flexibility.

The self-managed teams in holacracy have facilitated effective management in virtual offices with the advent of teleconferencing apps like Google and Zoom meetings.

Agile enterprises take digital disruption as a welcome change.

Digital disruption denotes a transformation that is caused by emerging technologies and business models. Advanced disruptive technologies such as data analytics, robotics process automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning and internet of things are such kind of technologies that need to be explored and tapped by businesses to stay in the dynamic world of business.

As things pan out, nobody knows how long Covid-19 will last. Its negative effects so far might just be a tip of the iceberg, though we are optimistic that all will be well. However, companies must prepare accordingly by integrating appropriate technologies to their operations.

is an accountant at Rea Vipingo