2019 New Year’s Resolution for Communicators: Stay Curious & Be Agile

By Tim Smith, Managing Director – Seattle, APCO Worldwide

Only 4 in 10 (39%) Fortune 1000 executives feel that their company is very prepared to manage risk and disruption, according to new research from APCO Worldwide.

“We know that the world is changing. Yet most corporate leaders haven’t kept up with the pace of change,” said Brad Staples, CEO of APCO Worldwide. “You can’t slow that pace down, but smart corporate executives know that building agile organizations, ready to respond to and positively creating change, is the only way to succeed in today’s environment.” Research from McKinsey & Company from earlier this year found much the same: agile organizations are more likely to be customer-centric, see higher revenue growth, and generate lower costs.

It’s not surprising that today’s uncertain business environment causes most companies to move too cautiously or – worse yet – not move at all. Yet companies that thrive today are not stagnant; they’re insatiably curious and bold. They never stand still, disregard no one and miss nothing.  They’re agile, but in a new way.

APCO’s research specifically identified three core dimensions of agility:

  • Active leadership means that curious leaders are visionaries who know how their decisions impact the business, employees, partners and customers. What if and why not are part of their everyday vocabularies.
  • Enterprising culture means looking forward by rewarding risk-taking and reinvention, and encouraging employees to learn, adapt and push the boundaries to capitalize on opportunities.
  • Shared advocacy means that companies know their markets inside out and closely monitor potential risks while using their influence to shape current and future changes in their favor.

In the coming year, strategic communications will continue to play an increasingly critical role in helping companies identify and manage critical issues and ensure alignment with key stakeholders, including employees. Whether working in-house or as an external consultant, communicators who understand the shifting landscape and can help clients survive and thrive will lead the way.

With all of this in mind, APCO Worldwide launched a new corporate agility tool – Stay Curious. Stay Ahead. – designed to help companies become leaders, not only in their respective sectors but in the world around them. The platform assesses any organization’s ability to weather prospective challenges and provides actionable takeaways for the near and distant future.

If you’re interested in getting the New Year off to a good start and want to learn more about how APCO Worldwide’s insights and offerings could help you be more curious and agile, please contact seattle@apcoworldwide.com.

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