On Becoming Adaptive: The New Imperative for Survival and Success in the 21st Century

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Editing On Becoming Adaptive: The New Imperative for Survival and Success in the 21st Century


Year: 2007

Source: Total Quality Management Vol. 18, Nos. 1–2, 21–38

A combination of significant developments in technology and the world economy has dramatically transformed the nature of perceptible change. The author calls for a new mindset that places an organization in an ecology-based worldview. Given the rapidly changing environment the only way for an organization to survive and succeed as a social 'species' is to become adaptive. The author asserts that becoming adaptive is the new imperative for the 21st century.
The objective of the article is to develop a suitable framework to represent the adaptive process for organizations. The framework contains the following elements:

  1. Nature of change
  2. Change drivers
  3. Organizational design and context
  4. Environmental
  5. Adaptive process

The framework presented by the author is an interesting model. Particularly relevant to this Wiki is the model of the adaptive process presented in this article. This process is cyclic and some of the phases or steps in the model that the author identifies may also be recognized in the cyclic process of the adaptive cycle, and how an organization moves through those. The adaptation phases involve a Sense-Interpret-Decide-Respond cycle that an organization goes through in the process of becoming adaptive. In the Sense phase organizations receive signals from the environment, in the next phase organizations Interpret these signals. In the next phase Decide the organization goes through a process of reflection before they finally Respond. One of the steps mentioned by the author in the Respond phase is to explore new possibilities.