Hacking HR to Build an Adaptability Advantage

mix-administrator's picture


To intercept opportunities that come and go at lightning speed, organizations must be able to quickly reconfigure capabilities, infrastructure, and resources. Unfortunately, in many organizations, rigid unit boundaries, functional silos, and political fiefdoms hamper the rapid realignment of skills and assets. To become more adaptable, companies must organize themselves into smaller units and create fluid, project-based structures.

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hendrik-dejonckheere_1's picture

" companies must organize themselves into smaller units and create.." People in organizations must all have the power to organize for the better. This needs principles of self-evaluation and team-evaluation based on the company purpose, assessment of the (market)situation and the trade-off between cost and return. Senior leadership means providing and communicating purpose and evaluation criteria to all members of the organization. Continuous improvement of productivity, customer satisfaction and results of existing activities combined with the ambition to create new ventures that compensate for the loss of labor in the efficiency-process can act as a driver. Disaggregation is only a condition to recreate the spirit of the start-up where everybody sees himself as a builder of the company.

A good example of this is WL Gore. Their organisational culture is typified as a 'flat lattice', with the emphasis on relationships, mutli-dsiciplinary teamwork and flexible projects that generate innovation. There is something about the freedom that smaller project teams have that allows quicker decision-making and a shorter cycle time from design through prototyping to implementation.

Adaptive organisations need structures and processes that support agility.