In 2014, a report published in the Harvard Business Review noted that large companies can spend in excess of 300,000 hours per year on unnecessary, time-wasting meetings. These calculations don’t even include interruptions, time spent reading or responding to email, and other factors that make for a sluggish company. To be more streamlined, corporations need to take a page from startups and strive for strategic nimbleness, which, according to Bettina Bueschel and Jean-Louis Barsoux of the International Institute on for Management Development (IMD), means being able to balance being nimble (being alert and responsive to external change pressures) with being strategic (making big choices that are difficult to reverse quickly).

Check out this list of a few ways to make your company more flexible and nimble.

Minimize bureaucracy by planning ahead

Peter Drucker, hailed by many as the “founder of modern management,” once wrote, “Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.” Indeed, the cornerstone of any successful, forward-thinking organization is the ability to accomplish more with minimal time spent in the decision-making process. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, there are five key ways to optimize time and get more accomplished:

  1. “Have a ‘time leadership’ budget – and a proper process for allocating it.”
  2. “Think about time when you introduce organizational change.”
  3. “Ensure that individuals routinely measure and manage their time.”
  4. “Refine the master calendar.”
  5. “Provide high-quality administrative support.”

By creating a well-defined plan for utilizing your organization’s time and allowing for some extra time to analyze and refine your process, you will save your team hours of frustration and wasted time in the long run.

Switch up the process

If you find that your company is rigidly doing the same things in terms of strategy, budget and recruitment with no real improvements, it may be time to change it up. To structure your processes while emphasizing flexibility and nimbleness, Bueschel and Barsoux from the IMD suggest focusing on three main dimensions:

  1. Vigilance: facing reality.” To gain insight into rigidities, vulnerabilities and “organizational blind spots” and be willing to hear other points of view and make changes.
  2. Versatility: creating options.” To quickly prototype new ideas and pilot programs to address new issues or challenges.
  3. Velocity: reorganizing for speed.” To create new, smaller business units with more oversight into the decision-making process instead of relying on big, bureaucratic bodies.

Remember these “3V’s of nimbleness,” and you may find that your company will transform in more ways than one.

Build flexibility into your company through restructuring

To add onto both the “Versatility” and “Velocity” dimensions as previously mentioned, creating smaller teams within your organization will not only increase flexibility but also promote creativity and accountability amongst your staff. Huge companies such as GE, IBM, and Coca-Cola have instituted innovation contests and created mini-startups within their walls that have served to generate inventive, new ways to solve old problems and concerns.

Viv Goldstein of IBM claimed that these measures have served to also shape the behaviors of executives, causing them to “take risks, learn constantly, and ask questions,” essentially allowing them to be less rigid in their thinking and decision-making. Additionally, Goldstein pointed out that long, burdensome annual reviews have now been replaced with quick but continuous check-ins and updates. This means that project design and execution are likely more streamlined, and those responsible for working on smaller projects are more accountable for their day-to-day progress. By having a larger organization divided into smaller working teams, much more can get accomplished for the company as a united entity.

Change company culture

Being a flexible, nimble company means that the lowest guy on the totem pole and the head of leadership work together towards the same goal and have a lot of trust in each other, such that if a big change needs to be made, the transition is as seamless as possible. To accomplish this, companies need to have a culture based on respect, integrity, and humility. Mark Templeton, chief executive of Citrix, reveres these qualities and has a foolproof plan for following through with what needs to be done in his organization. In an interview with The New York Times, Templeton said, “I think people generally want to belong to something of greater purpose that’s larger than they are. And a culture around values is part of that… Everyone feels that they’re birds of a feather because of common values. We have clarity around where we’re going, and then [employees] get to fill in how we’re going to get there — with the right kind of management, of course, and leadership, and the right kind of processes and metrics.”

Clearly outline your values and make sure everyone is on the same page with where the organization is going in the future. That way, any change can be seen by those on the ground as well as those at the top as a step towards achieving a bigger company-wide goal and will be executed quickly and efficiently.