Building a Culture of Adaptation and Resiliency

What is Adaptation-Driven Organization?

Building a Culture of Adaptation and Resiliency

With the turn of the 20th century (Industrial Age) industries came to the realization that employees’ satisfaction, productivity, and creativity were (and still are) crucial in the success of any industry or organization. In the late 1800's, Harvard graduate Frederick Taylor turned engineer to “industrial efficiency consultant” creating the Scientific Management model for productivity and efficiency. From there many revelations and research discoveries focused on improving cultural performance, motivation which uncovered new understandings into employee motivation and organizational effectiveness.

With the advent of the Knowledge Age, the need has come to move from performance-driven, to that of adaptation-driven and emotionally intelligent cultures. As a coach working with organizations, entrepreneurs and corporations, I have found organizational learning frameworks allow adaptation and resiliency so that outcomes are reached. The transformation is powerful, not only to the leaders, but also to the team members. It brings about new levels of energy, productivity, and communication.

Applying an Framework Can Build Adaptation-Driven Cultures

According to Henrich Greve, researcher on organizational learning and adaptation, there are several key areas organizations need to focus on to align behaviors of team members to the outcomes leaders desire to see.

First, leaders and team members need to review routines and structures that lend to stability, creativity, and growth so they may build from them. Additionally they need to identify barriers and growth areas. Processes that are deficient will effect the culture and should be altered through resources, training and new practices.

Second, consistent feedforward is a major catalyst for change, improved performance, and I also find, key to accountability. While researching organizations, often accountability is either non-existent, sporadic, or only top down. There are much better ways to make feedforward loops useful. One of the most effective performance tools is what I call “Feedforward-15.” It is a concrete process of questions, key indicators, and of which uses triple loop learning, that allows leaders and team members to be transparent, share vision, and transform synergy.