Many directors and boards of directors doubt their own organisation. They see that it has become quite large an inflexible. They doubt the structure and its responsiveness to the market. The organisation feels like an oil tanker, which is constantly being passed by speedboats. These boats are start-ups, offering added value in an innovative, technologically advanced way. Why an agile organisation, never needs to reorganize.

Many directors and boards of directors doubt their own organisation. They see that it has become quite large an inflexible. They doubt the structure and its responsiveness to the market. Menno Lanting has a beautiful metaphor for this, ‘The organisation feels like an oil tanker, which is constantly being passed by speedboats.’ These boats are start-ups, offering added value in an innovative, technologically advanced way.

An agile organisation never needs to reorganize

Disrupters

Traditional companies get the feeling: "if we do nothing, we will lose the battle of disruptors and start-ups." They are afraid to undergo the same fate as the traditional hotel sector by Airbnb, the taxi industry by Uber and the music sector by Spotify. Their fear is aptly based. If organisations are not constantly adapting to new technological developments, their existence can indeed be lost. And that applies to all sectors: from healthcare organisations to financial institutions. The current world demands enormous flexibility. Agility is the big buzzword at the moment.

Make sure the friction does not build up

Organisations often assume the agility will come out on its own. They think, "if we get enough young talent, our organisation will renew itself, and we will naturally achieve agility." But that's a mistake. Organisations that function based on command and control, fixed structures and worn habits will eventually slow to a crawl. They will be rusty and slow to a creeping stop. Anyway, how much talent will they retain? Not much. This is because they maintain patterns that no longer fit the organisational goal. They let employees do work that has become redundant just because it has always been the case.

Often the tension within these types of companies gradually rises. There is more and more friction between what employees do and what the organisation should do. These two tectonic plates shift up against each other until the tension must release in an earthquake - reorganisation has become unavoidable. This leads to many victims, and a loss of trust. The enthusiasm and involvement of employees gets shook. Certainly, when things continue through multiple reorganisations. After three or four reorganisations, people are really beaten down. Creativity and innovative ability is beyond repair.

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Dare to adjust your structure continuously

How do you stay agile as an organisation? It is not only by attracting new talent, because talent is constantly adapting. To keep agile, you have to constantly ask yourself, “What is the purpose of our organisation? Are we really committed to it?” If the answer to this is "no" are we then willing to adjust our structure and method? In 2011, Effectory decided not to add a new management layer to the organisation, even though we were growing fast. Extra management does not fit who we are and in our organisation goal: increase the engagement and commitment of employees. If you share in that goal, little management, shared leadership and a lot of autonomy for the employees will be a self-evident choice.

Ask employees for ideas

Agility is still a buzzword. But all actuality it's no more than mobility. It's the ability to keep you daring continuously. Initiated and supported by your employees. They are the eyes and ears of the organisation. They can ensure that processes match the wishes of customers. Good employers make use of social innovation. They ask their employees how to work faster, cheaper, smarter and more customer-oriented. And that's exactly where we like to play a role with Effectory. By easily uncovering whether employees understand the game and are prepared to join. And of course, ask them what they need to work with the organisation with pleasure and passion. Because if both the engagement and commitment are high, an organisation becomes innovative and agile by itself.

About Effectory

Based in Amsterdam, Effectory is Europe's largest independent employee survey provider, with over 20 years of experience in helping organisations become sustainably successful. We believe the key to sustainable success, is through gathering and listening to employee feedback. To facilitate this, we offer a variety of feedback tools which enable companies to learn from their employees and improve from within. In 2016, Effectory conducted over 600 employee surveys globally, with +1.5 million respondents in over 40 languages. Effectory is mission-driven, and we pride ourselves in having engaged, passionate employees with a very open, honest and trusting working culture.