From Self-Assessment To Solutions In Ten Easy Steps

Who Is This Toolkit For

The Business Agility Self-Assessment Toolkit is for you if you own or play a leadership role in an established business and want to increase its agility in order to accelerate growth.

This toolkit will help you:

  • Complete a quick yet comprehensive assessment of your business agility
  • Identify areas with the greatest potential to improve performance and accelerate growth.
  • Develop solutions and strategies for each of these areas and establish clear milestones against which to track progress.

Finally, it offers a roadmap of the further steps on the journey through successful implementation & ultimately, the creation of scaleable solutions.

The toolkit has been designed primarily for established SME’s employing at least 15 people and it envisions refinement rather than the complete reinvention of your operating systems.

 

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About This Toolkit

The toolkit is built around our coaching framework called ‘Growth Mapping’. A framework diagram is shown below.

Growth Mapping has been developed over several years working hands-on with a wide range of B2B & B2C SME’s, predominantly professional & manual service-providers. 

It has evolved to help them develop greater agility in response to the challenges of managing, growing and future-proofing their businesses.

Growth Mapping will help you organise your insights and thoughts about your business; either alone or in discussion with your colleagues, peers and advisors.

In ten easy steps, it will guide you through a clear and straightforward process using a series of templated worksheets all supported by a comprehensive Reference Manual that you can download here and dip into as you wish.

This will give you a starting point from which to invite external support if you want it; and from there to prioritise, develop and implement solutions to increase agility and accelerate your growth.

 

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Growth Mapping

Our Growth Mapping framework is based on the straightforward belief that to create improved outcomes, you need to refine the way you are managing yourself, your team or your business. 

You can make these refinements to any or all of your:

 

  • Business ownership & governance
  • Business model
  • Operating system

Website framework image

Each of these aspects of your business and how they can affect its agility is explained in more detail in our blog series: Building Business Agility, and in part 2 of this toolkit: the Reference Manual, which you can download here.

The steps and recommendations outlined below assume that you have reviewed your business ownership and governance, and your business model using the guidance in the Reference Manual, and that both are fit for purpose.

This being the case, you are ready to proceed and review the agility of your operating system, following the steps and using the tools provided in your Business Agility Self-Assessment Toolkit.
 
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About Business Agility

 Agility is commonly understood as an ability to move at speed and with grace; or to think quickly and in an intelligent manner.

Business agility describes the extent to which a business can display both of these attributes in the face of change or uncertainty: to quickly sense, assess and take decisions about an event or evolving situation, and then to move quickly, efficiently and effectively to translate those decisions into solutions, strategies and actions.

The value of business agility is that it enables a company to adapt and thrive in response to changes in its operating environment; ideally faster than competitors and without losing sight of its core purpose, mission and values.

This suggests that to be truly agile, a business needs to find a balance: keeping stable those elements that define it and align and energise its stakeholders, whilst preserving the flexibility to configure itself in new ways in order to create, deliver and capture value as markets and customers evolve.

 

For agile businesses, change presents opportunities to strengthen or consolidate competitive advantage.
Is your business ready and able to do the same?

 

The Four Dimensions Of Agility

Increasing your agility to accelerate growth first requires that you raise your awareness of the levers of agility that are within your sphere of control.

Growth Mapping presents a clear overview of these levers, grouped into four Dimensions.

The Four Dimensions Of Agility are:

Green diamond-shaped icon  representing 'Your Formative Experience'

 
 
Your Formative Experience

 

 

Red diamond-shpaed icon representing 'Your Inner Strength'

 

 
Your Inner Strength

 

 

Blue, diamond-shaped icon representing 'Your Value-Added'

 
 
Your Value-Added

 

 

Diamond_shaped_icon_representing_'Your_Chosen_Path"

 

 

Your Chosen Path

 

 

Each dimension contains 7 levers with the potential to increase agility.

 

Your Sphere Of Control

These four dimensions of agility contain only levers that you can influence directly through your own decisions: whether as an individual, team leader or business owner.

This term control needs to be qualified: you cannot dictate another person’s beliefs or mindset, for example. You can, however, lead by example to demonstrate how either will influence agility and growth.

Ultimately, of course, you can also set boundaries about what will and will not be acceptable in your team or business.

 

External Influences On Agility

The Growth Mapping framework also considers four external influences on your agility and growth. These lie outside your sphere of control, albeit you may still exert some influence on them:

Purple diamond-shaped icon representing 'External Influences'

Operating Environment
Partners and Suppliers
Prospective Stakeholders
Competitors


Your toolkit will help you complete a self-assessment of all of these dimensions and levers using a simple, 5-point scale explained below.

Your self-assessment will help you identify those levers that are most affecting the agility and growth of your business and are within your control to change.

Once you have prioritised your most powerful levers, Growth Mapping provides further tools that will equip you to develop detailed solutions, strategies and plans to strengthen and deploy them.

 

Planned Ascent will provide tailor-made business coaching to support you all the way through to detailed implementation and refinement of solutions, if that is what you choose. 

 

This support will help you uncover any blind spots, avoid common pitfalls and develop effective, scaleable solutions that will accelerate and sustain your progress towards the outcomes you want.

 
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Levels & Levers Of Agility

Every lever in each of the four dimensions is clearly defined in this section, as is the 5-point scale you will use to assess each one.

These definitions will serve as a ‘ready reckoner’ for you to refer to as you review your business.

Let’s start with the 5-point scale and understand what each level on that scale means.

Levels Of Agility

When you complete your self-assessment, the worksheet will prompt you to assign one of 5 levels to each lever.

The five levels are defined as follows:

Screenshot 2020-08-25 at 16.13.16

When considering what level to assign, remember that a legitimate strategy is the choice to do nothing.

 

This may be because you conclude that a particular lever has little potential to impact your results today or your future growth; or that the time isn’t right to focus on it.

Making a conscious choice to do nothing is completely different to doing nothing by default.

The former is a deliberate choice having weighed up your objectives, goals and options, and chosen to focus elsewhere. The latter is no strategy at all: a game of chance.

If a lever simply doesn’t feature in your reckoning today; so that you never think about it or don’t see the value in doing so for the time being, leave it blank in your self-assessment worksheet (see later) and score it as ‘zero’ when adding up your totals.

Levers Of Agility

The focus of this framework is on the various levers that influence how agile your operating system is.

Through your experience to date, you will have developed habitual ways of doing things in each of these dimensions: some will be conscious, others not. 

These habits might relate to behaviours, thought-patterns, beliefs about competitors and so on and can be helpful or unhelpful. 

They will all affect your agility and growth. 

The more you are aware of different levers and any associated habits that you or your team may have developed, the more opportunity you will have to align them to your goals and accelerate your progress. 

 

Concise definitions of each lever in the framework are provided below:

 

Screenshot 2020-08-25 at 16.08.28

Screenshot 2020-08-25 at 16.11.18

 

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More detailed explanations and questions that will help you fully understand each lever and choose whether or not to prioritise it are provided in the Reference Manual that you can download here.

Or you can contact us using the button below and we'll get back to you within one working day.

 

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Templated Worksheets

The final components of your toolkit are a series of templated worksheets.

Each worksheet is designed to help you work efficiently and effectively through a step by step  process that will result in clearly defined solutions, strategies, plans and measures.

All of the worksheets are contained in part 1 of your toolkit.

 

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The first of these worksheets is your self-assessment.

Self-Assessment Worksheet

Referring to the framework diagram and the explanations of the levels & levers, above, this worksheet invites you to:

  • Assess the level at which you are deploying each lever in your business today, against a 5-point scale.
  • Calculate the totals for your business across each dimension and consider what they indicate.
  • Identify those levers that represent your highest priorities to improve the agility of your operating system and business.

These ‘levers of agility’ will then form the focus of your work on the next worksheet. Questions are shown on the reverse to help you consider your findings and draw conclusions from them.

The worksheet is shown below for you to refer to, or you can download the toolkit including this worksheet, using the button below.

 

Visual of Self Assessment Worksheet (Front)

Visual of reverse of Self-Assessment Worksheet

 

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Solutions & Strategies Worksheet

Your challenge now is to get really clear about your reasons for focusing on each of these ‘levers of agility’.

The next worksheet provides a template to help you develop the solutions and strategies you will deploy to improve the performance of the priority levers you have chosen.

The colour coding represents the shift from something that is holding you back (Red), to something that will allow you to move forward (Green).

The red section invites you to consider the challenge you are facing i.e. how the lever in question is either creating or sustaining the current position in your business, what the solution is that you need or want to create and the outcome that will result from applying and sustaining this solution.

The final box in the red section asks what you will measure to know that your solution has produced the desired result.

The green section then invites you to write a succinct summary of your chosen strategy to develop and implement your solution, and the timeframe within which you want to implement it.

Some notes are provided on the reverse to help you; as shown below. Once again, you can download the toolkit, including this worksheet, from here if you wish.

 

Screenshot 2020-08-25 at 16.21.23

Visual of reverse of Solutions and Strategies Worksheet in in Business Agility Toolkit

 

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Milestones Worksheet

With a completed Solutions & Strategies worksheet for each priority lever, you are now in a position to summarise the milestones on your journey towards implementing and sustaining the changes you want to make to your business.

The Milestones worksheet provides a template to help you.

This simply pulls together into one overview the solutions you are going to develop for each lever, the goals and timeframes you have set for each and who will be accountable for their achievement.

Note: There is an important difference between accountability and responsibility. 

  • Accountability:  relates to outcomes and cannot be delegated. We hold each other accountable for ‘something’, or nouns, if you prefer  e.g., health and safety, new client acquisition or productivity.
  • Responsibility:  relates to performance of a task(s) and can be delegated. We hold each other responsible for ‘doing’ or taking actions (verbs) e.g., checking the fire extinguishers,  organising a social media campaign or ensuring staff are properly trained.

The value of the Milestones worksheet is that it provides an overview of all that you are setting out to achieve. This will help you avoid the risk of seeing each element in isolation and ensure that you have the capacity and capability to complete them all within the timeframes set.

The worksheet is shown below for you to refer to or use the button to download the toolkit which includes it.

 

Visual of Milestones worksheet in Business Agility Self-Assessment Toolkit

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Roadmap Worksheet

Once you have confirmed that your milestones are feasible when viewed as a whole, you might want to consider the further phases of activity you will need to complete to ensure any solutions you develop are successfully implemented and ultimately, will scale with your business.

The Roadmap worksheet sets out in summary form what these further phases are and shows how each one maps to the five levels in the framework.

You might choose to review this with colleagues and/or external advisors to ensure that you keep ahead of the business and ready to facilitate each subsequent phase.

The Roadmap worksheet is shown below and a blank template is also provided for you to note down any thoughts you may have relating to each phase.

Visual of Roadmap worksheet from Business Agility Self-Assessment Toolkit

Visual of blank Milestones worksheet from Business Agility Self-Assessment Toolkit

 

Now you are familiar with all the worksheets in your toolkit, simply follow the step-by-step instructions below to complete your business agility self-assessment!

From Strategy to Solutions: 10 Easy Steps

Follow these 10 simple steps to complete your Business Agility Self-Assessment:

Step 1: Open or print if you prefer, the following items from your Business Agility Toolkit:

  • Framework diagram (page 13)
  • Levels & Levers definitions (pages 16,18,19 & 21)
  • Self-Assessment worksheet (pages 23 & 24)
  • Reference manual (free to download here)
Step 2: Read the definitions of the 5-point assessment scale
  • This explains the different levels you will use in your self-assessment and gives an example of how to apply them.

Step 3: Complete your Self-Assessment worksheet
  • Follow the instructions at the top of the worksheet.

 

Step 4: Note your observations about the results of your self-assessment
  • Use the questions on the back of the self-assessment worksheet to help you.

 

At this point, it is recommended that you use your self-assessment as a basis for challenge, refinement & support by talking it through with your peers or leadership team. You might also invite objective, external input from an expert coach, mentor or advisor.

 

Step 5: In the light of your review, identify those levers that you most need to strengthen in order to increase your business agility.

  • Tick them in the last row of the worksheet, labelled ‘Levers of Agility’.

 

Step 6: Taking each lever of agility in turn, work through and complete a Solutions & Strategies worksheet
  • This may require that you consult with a wider group of colleagues or advisors
  • Again, you may benefit from external support at this stage to gather insights from tackling similar challenges with other businesses; or to discover business tools you may find helpful.

 

Step 7: Referring to your completed Solutions & Strategies worksheets, capture your Milestones on the worksheet provided.

 

Step 8: If you wish to look further ahead, review the Roadmap worksheet which describes the phases of activity necessary for successful implementation of scaleable and sustainable solutions.

  • Complete the future phases of activity that you anticipate for your business on the blank template of the Roadmap worksheet, as provided.

 

Step 9: Consider who else you may need to consult or inform in order to create and sustain the support you will need.

 

Step 10: Share the elements of your plan with relevant stakeholders

  • Ideally, using a shared file rather than distributed individual copies so that only one master exists that you can control and keep up to date.

 

If at any stage you need or want to contact us, please do so using the button below and we'll be delighted to help if we can.

Alternatively, call us on 0345 222 5618.

 

Thanks for your interest in our Business Agility Self-Assessment Toolkit!

 

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