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Here are seven integrated principles that define adaptable businesses in the new world of work. These are the core elements and aspects that enterprises need to target, sustain, and continuously improve upon to drive success in the short term, and ensure survival in the long run.

1. Conscious Culture Change

Adaptable businesses demonstrate what Gartner refers to as a “conscious culture change”, through which the focus shifts from activities and tasks, to outcomes and results. Aside from core values and ethics, nothing is carved in stone. Policies, protocols, and processes are subject to scrutiny, discovery, innovation, and experimentation in the pursuit of better performance.

2. Employee Engagement

Dynamic, progressive and clearly demonstrated employee engagement is at the heart of every adaptable business. The people who carry out the work — and not those who assign it — ultimately govern whether adaptability is superficial or substantial. Engagement inspires them to make it work. Disengagement compels them to undermine it.

3. Results-Driven Collaboration

For adaptable businesses, internal and external communication is effective, efficient and result-based. To put this another way: the landscape is free of silos and islands, and there is no mistaking excessive conversation with quality collaboration.

4. Speed with Efficiency

Adaptable businesses know that the critical word in the phrase “speed with efficiency” is with. Merely working faster isn’t the point, and can often be counterproductive. Speed must be combined with efficiency — for example, by automating repeatable processes and designing intelligent workflows — so that employees spend less time on administrative tasks, and more time moving ushering tasks towards completion.

5. Flexible Resource Management

Adaptable businesses empower their resource and project managers with reliable, real-time information to make on-the-fly adjustments to team and individual assignments. A major success factor is the ability to instantly drill down into schedules, skill setsjas, assignments and availability for employees and contractors across the enterprise, regardless of location.

6. Visibility, Visibility and More Visibility

Adaptable businesses aren’t just nimble, flexible and response-ready. They also ensure that decisions and actions align with overall strategic priorities and direction. This only happens when decision-makers have 360-degree visibility, and can monitor project and portfolio health, identify trends and make faster, more proactive decisions.

7. CWM or Bust

Enterprises that ride the adaptable business wave — and stay above the surface — put the right Collaborative Work Management (CWM) technologies in place to support employees, enable performance, and drive results.

The Bottom Line

Business adaptability is nothing less than an all-encompassing, top-to-bottom organizational mindset. Enterprises that embrace all of the pillars of this paradigm will set the pace in their marketplace and industry, while they shape and lead the new world of work.

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