The Adaptable Organization

published by Deloitte

The world around us is moving at an unprecedented pace, but there is also an innate feeling that we have been here before. 

Today’s digital age involves a complete shift in mindset, culture and operating philosophy. However, the collective immune systems of many global businesses are increasingly brittle and may easily crumble under the enormous weight of technological disruption and rapidly shifting consumer expectations. Compounding the challenge, today’s management systems, structures and talent strategies tend to be outdated, designed for an era when size and enduring stability defined competitive advantage. Organizations that once benefited from a size and scale strategy have rapidly disappeared from the S&P 500. 

Amidst these changes a new breed of successful organizations is emerging in this fourth industrial revolution that is shifting away from command-and-control cultures towards management practices that harness diverse crowds of people who are engaged, energized and focused on surprising and delighting customers, unencumbered by excess bureaucracy and pursuing both personal and business goals with purpose. The technology start-up offers a model for understanding how to become an Adaptive Organization that can flex to market developments, while energizing teams to deliver breakthrough products and solutions. The factors that help make these fast-scaling workplaces irresistible can also unlock a new way of leading, enabling, working, and organizing. 

What is an Adaptable Organization? Organizations thriving in a complex world of uncertainty show bold disruption and continuous innovation. Relying on the human desire for resilience and reinvention, these organizations embrace change and rapidly morph to respond to shifting customer, environmental and market needs. Adaptable Organizations remove the belief in scarcity, structure and control and replace it with an ecosystem that learns from the past and adapts accordingly to help ensure survival of the overall system. In this sense, Adaptable Organizations are living and breathing enterprises organized around networks based on how people work and behave, distributing and maximizing human potential 

A few years ago, an organization’s desire to become more agile and innovative was an indicator of success; now it is an imperative for survival in unstable markets.  

This is an excerpt from ‘The Adaptable Organization: Harnessing a networked enterprise of human resilience’ report.

The Adaptable Organization