Members of the OST community can deliver transformations and risk analysis using practical tools underpinned by reliable social science theory, including the Search Conference (SC), the Participative Design Workshop (PDW) and the Organizational Adaptivity Index (OAI) for a more sustainable future in highly uncertain business environments.
Planning more adaptive directions and futures
All organisations and communities today need to periodically take stock of themselves in their rapidly changing environments and plan more adaptive directions and futures. In highly uncertain environments, business leaders must be able to answer: ‘Where do we want to be in year X within the context of this uncertainty?’
To answer this strategic question, we work with leaders to apply an active adaptive planning method known as the Search Conference (SC), which has been translated from Open Systems Theory (OST). It’s a large group planning methodology designed to produce a learning, planning leadership team committed to producing a comprehensive active adaptive future for their organisation and the action plans to meet this active adaptive future.
Changing organisational design principles for continuous adaption
To ensure active adaptive futures are met, business leaders are changing their organisational design principles from inefficient bureaucracies to democratic team-based structures where change, adaptability and agility are natural and inherent.
The active adaptivity method developed to change organisational design principles is the Participative Design Workshop (PDW). Like the Search Conference, it’s a methodology that has been translated from Open Systems Theory. It’s an efficient process for creating democratic team-based structures where the basic unit of work is the self-managing group and where group members have a shared responsibility for meeting their agreed goals.
Making the design principle change from bureaucracy to self-managing groups is one of the most critical steps for creating the conditions for continuous adaption, agility and improvement. Only when these conditions are in place are employees motivated to quickly adapt to a rapidly changing environment and utilise advanced technology to continually improve the customer experience and business performance.
Identifying risk levels in uncertain environments
Our research shows that there are four fundamental dimensions of the business environment creating high levels of uncertainty. These four dimensions centre on changing values and expectations in the wider community, intra-organisational relationships and employee motivation, the digital technology revolution and business ecosystems.
For a sustainable future, it is critical that decision-makers are cognisant of these changing dimensions and the implications they have for their business. To help you know if your organisation is at risk, our OST colleagues have developed an Organisational Adaptivity Index (OAI) survey. This survey is an important tool for alerting any organisation or industry to the degree of risk they face amidst high levels of uncertainty from rapidly changing business environments.