COVID-19, supply chain woes, higher costs, a worsening labor shortage — the food industry has had more than its share of disruptions over the past 18 months. These disruptions don’t look to be going away anytime soon, and, when they do ebb, new ones will surely arise to take their place.

The food industry has a reputation for being slow to change. But that’s becoming less and less true as many companies realize that change is the only way forward. And evidence suggests that the organizations that embrace this mindset will be rewarded.

RGP, a global human capital firm, recently released a report on the importance of agility, specifically human agility, in the ability of companies to weather change. They surveyed more than 200 C-suite leaders and entry-level employees from 177 companies across all Fortune 1000 industry sectors and found that organizations with a deep-rooted culture of innovation experience more benefits and fewer obstacles during change events.

“We found that what equips businesses to thrive through disruption mirrors the characteristics that enable humans to survive,” said RGP President and COO Tim Brackney. “Every time an organization lives through a major change event, it develops communal knowledge and experience, forming a sort of muscle memory. The more an organization infuses agility into their people, processes, and technology, the more benefits they realize and value they create.”

RGP has developed what they call a “recipe for agility,” which consists of five pillars:

  • Distributed leadership — All employees are viewed as leaders, not just the C-suite. This encourages “diverse voices across the organization to co-own the vision and execute it into reality.’
  • A culture of flexibility — A commitment to innovation coupled with empathetic management “enhances a sense of belonging for your workforce.”
  • Resilient operations — Companies that “proactively design opportunities for change” can “enable rapid response to market changes.”
  • Nimble finances — Lip service isn’t enough. Organizations need to “support real-time monitoring and reallocation of funding to make proactive investments.”
  • Continuous listening — Listening to all stakeholders “enables organizations to amplify their ability to benefit from change.”

As we come to the end of 2021, it’s a good time to think about how you will deal with the changes that will undoubtedly come in 2022. Will your organization be an ostrich? Or will you embrace the change, adopt an agility mindset, and set the company on the path to weathering whatever disruptions the future brings?