How to Design an Adaptive Organization?
August 30, 2021
There is a higher rate of transition than ever before in the world today. Technological advances are taking place at a flash pace and this causes disturbing results in organizations, talent, society and almost all facets of organization.
When leaders are responding to the transition and anticipating it, they frequently build “what if” thoughts about the organization’s choice: What if we expand next year? What if we buy another business?
The very real problem is that any serious choice of organization, based on the assumption of what may come, will quickly prove incorrect in a relatively short period of time. What was meaningful a couple of months ago could be totally out of place at the present. It’s not surprising that so many companies want versatility in their organizational architecture.
It is more important than ever to be able to adapt to changes in the organization’s environment. Organizations in every industry are being disrupted, and to handle unpredictability, they are increasingly turning to flexible governance models such Agile, OKR, and lean-agile leadership. Despite the growing need for these approaches, many managers are unsure where to begin their path toward establishing an adaptive organization while still delivering value. Moreover, the pathway to an adjustable organization is more than a huge boom, instead it is a sequence of little gradual adjustments. Thus organizations must immediately determine how much independence, versatility and resilience their specific strategies require.
Flexibility as the principle of an organization
Leaders and organizations should follow strategies and techniques to help the design of adaptive organizations. The following corporate design concepts enable a business to be flexible and more easily adapted to developments inside and outside the organization.
1. Evaluation of organizational flexibility design choices
A great way to create versatility within the business is to make it one of your organization’s design requirements. This helps executives to assess decisions depending on whether the company will flex and evolve. When contemplating new technologies, for example, leaders may wonder, “Are we building a technology that will grow if we acquire it? Can this be extended or adapted if our goods or services are changed?” While these types of questions do not necessarily have conclusive solutions, these help ensure that the company considers the eventual ramifications of the possible organizational realities.
2. Understand different designs of organizational structures
Certain organizational structure alternatives will show to be more adaptable than others in any given organization. It is crucial to understand the pros and cons of each organizational structure and choose the model that works best for your business.
For example, arranging work around functional groupings might provide a lot of flexibility in some instances. A functional grouping can be used across several departments of an organization, enabling all to enjoy the benefit. If a firm is acquired, some functional groups may be shared with the new company with just minor alterations. Being set up as a functional organizational structure, on the other hand, can be a limiting issue in other instances, such as when various business units have significant differences that can not be efficiently supported by a single feature.
Another organizational structure that gains its popularity nowadays is modular structure. A modular organization chooses to evolve around specialized and independent strategic business units. This structure enables an organization to add and/or distribute business divisions to fulfill competitive goals and opportunities as required.
3. Flexible ways of working
The way we structure work encourages either flexibility or rigidity. An Agile methodology is an extremely versatile way of working, using fast, flexible and sensitive methods of operating. This method is also quite similar to the modular structure, because Agile’s fast work sprints automatically bring together the relevant individuals to accomplish high-value work and then redirect them to other business-critical tasks once they’re done. The major benefit of utilizing Agile ways of working in a changing environment is that by performing in a more Agile fashion —in bursts, short doses, and intense work attempts – if something isn’t going to work, the issue normally becomes quickly transparent at an early stage. As a result, if it turns out that the job is misdirected right when issues arise, companies can immediately fix issues and chances that those issues turn into major problems will be low. People are able to move around or have the scale of the project change easily on short notice, as compared to work that is more waterfalls or linear, requiring long-term dedication and showing issues after a long time.
4. Flexibility to promote resilience
An adaptable organization has internal and external systems that make it easy to respond to changes. By deliberately choosing organizational architecture to promote versatility in configuration and working processes, leaders will develop an agile organization that is robust and efficient in a changing world.
With proven experience in working with multi-cultural contexts and business models, Talentnet owns a team of senior consultants with grounded expertise to tailor best-fit HR strategies and approach to numerous business contexts. Contact Talentnet to learn more about adaptive organization and find out about which organizational model will help your company achieve the ultimate goals.