Build Flexible Organizations!

It is said, that one of the huge challanges of our time is the great volatility of end customer markets. To face this fact, many companies debate, how to cope with this new market reality. Not surprisingly there are thousands of solutions out there, eagerly sold by consultancy companies:
  • You need a flexible and highly adaptive IT ecosystem (see SOA)
  • You need to be flexible in handling your requirements (see, Agile, Scrum)
  • You need flexibility in your high level planning processes (see Beyond Budgeting, Beta-Codex)
  • You need flexibility everywhere. Google for "flexible it solutions" and you will find more than 60.000.000 hits...
But having implemented this "solutions", lots of companies find themselves in situations where they are not really satisfied with the flexibility they gained. Why?

It is just not sufficient, to demand all your processes, tools and people to be flexible. After all it is not your processes, tools or people reacting to the market - it is your entire organization as a system, reacting.

Thus, if you want to stay competitive your first priority should probably be to design or redesign your organization in a way that the resulting system is capable to cope with change as a whole. In other words - you should try to build an organization that avoids organizational dept

One of the major challanges of our time might therefore be, to build a sustainable organization where management, leadership and structure are much more situational and much less permanent.

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