In today’s working world, there is the need to do better,
be better, achieve more, and make more money.
The COVID-19 pandemic taught a lot of people new
skills and simplified ways of doing things. Following
that, there is increased competition, and a need for
innovation.This huge innovation requirement will only
become a reality in our organisations, offices and
businesses when all functions work together. Efficiency
is no longer enough, and departments must work in
closer interaction and cooperation with each other to
achieve maximum efficiency and innovation. In a world
where the future is uncertain, adaptability is one sure
way of readily excelling in the unknown future.
The Adaptable Organization is a fundamental shift in
operating and management philosophy that enables
large-scale global organizations to operate with a
start-up mindset and drive modern people practices
that enable enterprise agility through empowered
network of teams. HR needs to connect the leadership
and business needs with employee’s capabilities and
research shows that organizations that have adaptable
HR are closer to addressing risks that are closer to the
HR plays a key role in driving business transformations
by focusing on the Three Adaptability Anchors and
by making changes in internal ways of working. The
internal ways of working being: Design, Experience and
Governance. The HR Function by doing these, becomes
more adaptable and enables success of business
initiatives as Organizations navigate to the future.
Research reveals that companies that desire to reignite
profitable growth needs to drive stronger alignment with
the culture and align the pace of innovation disrupting
services, build capacity internally for critical roles and
reconfigure the organization structure. In all these, HR
play a key role in making these happen.
The three Anchors of Adaptability are as
- Commitment to Outcomes: HR needs to shift from
being traditional-KPI-driven to outcomes closely
aligned to what the stakeholders value. The
missing piece is for HR to jointly commit with the
Business on the outcomes and deliver them.
- Adoption at heart: HR needs to recognize program
implementation is not a one-time effort. Instead,
it is ongoing and requires constant feedback to
ensure completeness and customer-centeredness.
- Navigating to the future: This enables HR to
shape the future rather than react to it. Program
adoption yields actionable insights on program
outcomes and effectiveness. HR should use these
insights for ongoing discussions with businesses
to jointly agree on the progress, understand the
gaps in performance, and drive change with other
stakeholders through constant calibration and
- These three anchors speak to the way in which work is
done, the mindset that workers need to have and the
systems HR practitioners put in place, to ensure that the
organization is ready for the future, irrespective of what the future holds. HR leads the thought process of this, seeing as it is the function that is directly responsible for people management and wellbeing. To positively transform a business, HR will need to ensure that it is an adaptable organization. This is what an adaptable organization looks like, as opposed to a stable / rigid one:
- Profit Driven
- Internal Focus
- Hierarchical Structure
- Siloed & Bureaucratic Interaction
- One-Size fits all Talent Management
- Purpose Driven
- Customer Focused Ecosystem
- Flexible Network
- Agile Ways of Working
- Individualized Talent Engagement
- Change and Learning are Continuous
Your business can only grow if it is ready to transform for the better. Business Transformation in today’s working world looks like adaptability. Here are a few questions to test whether or not your organization is ready to become an adaptable one:
• Do your workers, peripheral talent, and stakeholders truly see a shared purpose that unites them?
• Does information from your customers and environment flow in seamlessly to inform decisions?
• Have you minimized bureaucracy and hand‐offs between teams?
• Are you able to “spin up” and “spin down” teams rapidly when needed, with a clear mandate?
• Do your teams operate based on trust, bringing diverse perspectives to the table, and perform well?
• Are your people comfortable experimenting and learning from mistakes, knowing you will reward them for learning?
• Do you know your leaders are at every level?
• Do you know if your leaders have the capabilities needed for tomorrow’s challenges?
• Do your talent programs address your talent beyond the traditional worker, such as contingent workers?
• Can you support your people in building their skills and capabilities across a range of experiences, or are they encouraged to continually move up?
The right team can keep a business relevant and profitable in an ever-changing world. Even more, the right HR resources and the right people management systems will boost an organization’s bottom-line and ability to grow in the industry. From the point of HR, business transformation is business adaptability; get your organization adaptable as fast as possible.