Hacking HR to Build an Adaptability Advantage

Quick MIX Brainstorm: Defining Adaptability

Earlier in the hackathon Gary shared his definition of adaptability.  Now it's your turn--we'd like your quick input on the most important things that set a truly adaptable organization apart from the rest.  This "Quick MIX" brainstorm is open to all registered participants to the hackathon (register here).  The best contributions earn a chance to be recognized in the hackathon blog, CIPD's on-line site, and  in the social media channels of CIPD, the MIX.

What defines an adaptable organization? Share one crucial principle, characteristic, or element of an adaptable organization. You know your organization's adaptable when. . .

Submitted Ideas

An adaptable organization evolves its “What?” and “How?” to best fulfill its purposeful “Why?”.

Idea by Richard Melrose on May 2, 2022
Purpose is the enduring “Why?” of a business that enlightens its strategy and sets the stage for value creation and capture. For sustainability, however, the “What?” and “How?” of business activity must respect changes in the competitive marketplace. Leading change, or even keeping up, requires agility and adaptability.

People with open minds

Idea by Diane Rance on May 2, 2022
...people are willing to engage in challenging conversations in which they are asked to consider an alternative perspective from someone with a different set of experiences to themselves. Soemeone who has worked in a different sector/profession can bring a ftresh perspective and a new range of opportunities; wisdom can come from multiple perspectives. ...

You know your organization's adaptable when it is able to rapidly mobilise and demobilise resources in response to the customer's needs.

Idea by Keith Gulliver on May 2, 2022
Indicators include: * Flexible, flat organizational structures vs. rigid, hierarchical structures * Transient project based activities that form and break-up as required * A mobile, highly skilled, global workforce

an adaptable organization seemlessly responds to the customer's needs, often before they ask

Idea by Tim Ahrens on May 6, 2022
They operate without silos, without a lot of rules. There are unbreakable rules like integrity, but they are few. People have freedom to operate within those rules without a lot of interference. Leadership does a great job of defining the "What" for the organization and they let everyone else define and execute the "how."

it has a desire to move on and a legacy to leave

Idea by Eerik Lundmark on May 6, 2022
Great companies have a legacy they have built their presence on. This gives a healthy self-esteem and strength to dive into unchartered waters. Without the desire to move on, however, the legacy may become a burden. Combine the two and you will have a winning combination, employess proud of what you were and what you become, and customers will follow you.

Curious and emotionally resilient people allow organisations to be adaptable.

Idea by Aime Armstrong on May 2, 2022
As a whole, humanity has an infinate ability to innovate. Organisations are only adaptable if they are full of people who have the curiousity to ask questions, try and fail; but also the emotional resilience to embrace change. The world might be changing at a phenomonal rate but human psychology hasn't changed that much since we lived in caves.

New style of working (Montessori) in an adaptable organization

Idea by christina rudrich on May 2, 2022
Educating the Montessori education. Montessori is characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for own development. Close your eyes: Imagine an environment where you learn by gamification; where you explore; have time to reflect; intrinsic learn to be part of an adaptable organization - this organization will be adaptable.

Future focus and safe to fail

Idea by Judith Manion on May 1, 2022
An adaptable organisation is constantly looking over the horizon and creating change rather than responding to changes around them. Agree with earlier comments that this requires an openness to experimentation and a "fail fast and learn" culture.

No tablets of stone

Idea by Ian Jeffreys on May 2, 2022
You know your organisation's adaptable when the strategy, plans, policies and processes are not cast in tablets of stone. Everything should be interchangeable and interconnecting, so that rather like my sons favourite toy, they can be transformed and united against any situation.

A self-eco-re-organizing system

Idea by Neelesh Marik on May 2, 2022
An accurate and inclusive way to describe the process of self-organization in open, dynamical systems is as “self-eco-re-organizing systems”. A system does not merely organize itself, independently of its environment. The order out of disorder that emerges in an open system’s interaction with its environment is a sign of adaptability.

Adaptability through clever use of employee and customer expertise

Idea by Claire McCartney on May 2, 2022
Often the most adaptable organisations are those that actively seek out and use both their employees and customers/clients' expertise. They recognise the need to interact with both groups in different ways. This involvement goes way beyond simple one-sided communication to active involvement in shaping and even sponsorship of business strategy.

A culture where every voice finds their song

Idea by Sukhwant Bal on May 4, 2022
What if those closest to the problem tool the right action for the greater good? Where problems and issues were not passed up-the-line.....but dealt with - before they became raging fires. Where every colleague was encouraged to play to their strengths and make a difference. Where the role of every leader was to cultivate more leaders vs 'followers'.

An adaptable organisation is one which listens and acts consciously

Idea by Sarah Tucker on May 3, 2022
It engages with stakeholders & acts in a conscious way. It's not about change for change's sake, nor is it about responding to demands & trying to please. It's about listening to all stakeholders and acting in a way that is in line with strategy, well developed (but timely), & considers the true impact - both positive & negative.

An adaptive organization is an organization that is able to absorb changes and turn them into opportunities

Idea by Johnny H. Ryser on May 2, 2022
Just like the human body. E.g. if we use certain parts of the brain, it becomes stronger, while if we stop using a part, it becomes weaker to preserve energy. Our body is both extremely adaptive in terms of energy preservation, and in terms of development of skills and strengths.

Adaptability has no place for efficiency nitpickers

Idea by Stefan Blobelt on May 3, 2022
Adaptability is build upon resilient structures that are created by promoting and incentifying people who are innovative experimenters and inventors rather than efficiency nitpickers and bureaucratic planners.