How To Become An Adaptive Business

What links these stellar organisations? 

American Express, HCL Technologies, Hilti, John Lewis Partnership,

Southwest Airlines, Statoildm-drogerie markt,

Morning Star, Toyota, Whole Food Markets and W.L.Gore.

They represent a growing number who pursue an ‘adaptive management model’ via

Are these organisations successful and ‘fit for the future’?

By any measure, absolutely!


So to help you on your journey here are the TWELVE

principles that they rigorously employ.

#1 – Values 

Bind people to a common cause, not a central plan.

#2 – Governance

Govern through shared values and sound judgment, not detailed rules and regulations.

#3 –Transparency

Make information open and transparent, don’t restrict and control it.

#4 – Teams

Organize around a network of accountable teams, not centralized functions.

#5 – Trust

Trust teams to regulate and improve their performance; don’t micro-manage them.

#6 –Accountability

Base accountability on holistic criteria and peer reviews, not on hierarchical relationships.

#7 – Goals

Set ambitious medium term goals, not short-term negotiated targets.

#8 – Rewards

Base rewards on relative performance, not fixed targets.

#9 – Planning

Make planning a continuous and inclusive process, not a top-down annual event.

#10 – Coordination

Coordinate interactions dynamically, not through annual budgets.

#11 – Resources

Make resources available just-in-time, not just-in-case.

#12 – Controls

Base controls on fast, frequent feedback, not on budget variances.

These principles will enable and encourage a cultural climate change that will enable your organization to attract and keep the best people as well as drive continuous adaptation, innovation and growth. They define the new management model for the twenty-first century organization.


Are you missing out? – Is there more to be discovered?

Further resource:

Curated by Trevor Lee  –  EP International


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