Adaptive Organization

Changes are inevitable, but to make the change successful, beneficial and significant it is important to have an adaptive attitude towards the changes. Organizations are now supporting and promoting an adaptive organization for better exploration of available resources. The concept of adaptive organizations is more dominating in project based companies. Adaptive organization focuses more on human capabilities rather than its limitations. An adaptive organization is able to integrate new resources or re-allocate existing ones as needed to solve business problems and address arising needs. The adaptive concept goes by many names such as adaptive enterprise, on demand, and utility computing.

The model of an adaptive organization works well in IT industry where most of the tasks are project based and the successful completion of the task depends on team member’s attitude and character.

Traits of adaptive organization

  1. The new logic of content: It requires the concepts of strategy, structure, and systems and highly believes in the ability and efficiency of the available human resource.
  2. The new logic of configuration: It specifies a new relationship among strategy, structure, and systems that gives priority to supporting workforce engagement and capability.
  3. The new logic of change: Adaptive organizations believe that an employee seeks a significant and meaningful job and wants to contribute in achieving organizational goals, and specifies a top-down-bottom-up sequence of development activities.

The Adaptive Organization model is a business strategy developed by the members of the Consortium for Service Innovation. Adaptive approach is the need of the time; organization’s that sense the need of change and undertake it successfully have more chances of survival in tough business environment than those who resist adaptation with the passage of time. The adaptive organization focuses on synchronizing changes in the five areas of an organization so that it can remain relevant and effective.

People: the Benefit of Youth

Adaptive organizations are more willing to trust on youth power and they do not hesitate in awarding important position to young guns. Though they lack in experience, but they have a more flexible approach, experimental thinking, and are adept in learning the latest technology. Young people are willing to work in collaboration. They easily fit in different blocks and play their part successfully and help the organization in achieving its mission and vision. Young people come up with novel ideas and they are full of energy and provide adequate dynamism to the organization to keep up with the pace of time.

Process fostering Collaboration: The cultures of an adaptive organization insist on collaborative culture where an employee performs together and draws on each other’s creativity. Management has realized that collaborative approaches are more result-oriented and are fostering such behavior for a better outcome. In adaptive management an employee has decision making powers and executive powers at some level so that they can carry forward the process without any delay.

Strategy leadership principles over directives: Adaptive organization focuses on culture of innovation. Here the leaders are not the only persons responsible for decision making, but other members of the organization also have their contribution. Leaders are now focusing on creating an environment where people come forward with ideas and develop a culture of innovation. Now the focus of the organization is more on promoting an organization-wide guiding principle and vision, empowering each employee to fulfill it as he or she sees fit. Now it is not only the manager or leaders who have exclusive rights in making rules and others have to follow it but now employees could come up with an idea and it could turn into a practical decision.

Structure creating an open collaborative workforce: The strength of the organization lies in its employees and adaptive organization is always ready and willing to get the best resource for its task. The adaptive organization adopts a networked, open, and collaborative workforce structure. Adaptive organization does not hesitate to call the team of expert advisors from outside the organization to complete the task. It does not follow highly structured employee models but focuses on the best available talent inside and outside the organization. The adaptive organization does not hesitate to call the experts from outside if its human resource is not skilled enough to perform a particular job. Now organizations are adopting a networked workforce structure for the fast achievement of goals and mission.

Technology enabling knowledge transfer: Technology eases life even professional life but unfortunately most of the organizations fail to realize the full potential of available technology and they accept it as infrastructure rather than as an enabler of knowledge transfer. A proper use of technology could help the organization with expanding its horizon. An adaptive organization readily accepts latest IT innovations with all its features and moulds it to suit its organizational requirement and gain maximum benefit from including it into its day to day procedure and evolves a business model accordingly.

Adaptive organization is a new third stage organization based on logic of content, configuration and change based on human efficiencies.  Now the organization is open to change and can easily adapt their principles and strategies for the smoother and better running of an organization. Another feature of adaptive organization is that there decision making power is not restricted in the leader’s hands only but employees also have their role in decision making.

  • Nasir Hussain