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Why Adaptability Is The Key To Workplace Success


The adage, “Change is the only constant” was never more suitable than for today’s disruptive business landscape. In order to attain and sustain a competitive edge and to offer market leading propositions, two attributes – Adaptability and Agility – hold maximum importance.

Adaptability accounts for better customer support and making provisions to meet their needs, but it’s also a huge factor to attract and retain employees who are equipped to drive these customers forward. Companies unprepared for the relentless pace of change will simply not be able to compete for skills in today’s digital marketplace.

Thankfully, some companies have started acknowledging the need for adaptability and agility and are turning towards the right technologies to fill this gap and revive their organizations.

However, a research conducted by Otto Beisheim School of Management says any technology investment needs to be supported by the right model if a business is to guarantee results from it.  If technology is implemented without all of these factors present, then the efficiency increases only by one fifth and that is not at all desirable.

The true power of technology is only unleashed through seven dimensions in an organization and these factors are:

  1. Data-driven decision making
  2. Flexibility & embracing change,
  3. Entrepreneurial culture A shared digital vision,
  4. Critical thinking and questioning,
  5. Learning culture
  6. Open communication
  7. Collaboration

When all are present behind a technology deployment, the research showed these factors are the real catalyst to success which increases business efficiency by two thirds. Therefore, we have dubbed these seven key factors the ‘Adaptable Business’ model, a proven formula for boosting business efficiency. The model not only helps the business become more efficient, but our study also unearthed a positive correlation between its presence in an organization and overall company performance.

You may very well, ask, what are the ramifications of not embracing the model to become an adaptable business? Well, for starters, the organization will not be as agile as possible and not embracing this culture will have a big impact on the companies’ ability to compete for talent – a third of business leaders said they thought, with their current structure, they wouldn’t be able to attract people with the right skills for their needs. This went up to over half in markets such as India, Brazil and Chile.

Technology evolves constantly and that makes digital transformation a journey rather than a destination. The core finding of this research is that the digital transformation is not an IT issue. Technology is just one aspect of digital transformation. A successful digital transformation is embraced by everyone in the business starting from the leadership team.

Here, HR needs to step up and lead the workforce towards the change and to make sure that productivity benefits from the technology are realized.

Any technology implementation needs to be coupled with cultural change and upskilling of the workforce, who will use these technologies in their day to day tasks. It’s these digital skills that make up the seven factors needed to realize the true benefits of any technology and become an adaptable business.

(The author, Shailesh Singhla, is Country Head & Sr. Director – HCM Business at Oracle)

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