The Importance of Adaptability and Flexibility
What happens when an organization fails to change?
Considering things are constantly changing it is important to be adaptable and flexible to change. There are many examples of what happens when an organization fails to ensure its skills, processes, and techniques keep up with internal and external changes. One such example is that of Blockbuster. According to Minda Zetlin (2019), “In 2000 Blockbuster was offered the opportunity to buy Netflix for $50 million. Blockbuster turned it down. Blockbuster had to file for bankruptcy in 2014. Netflix skyrocketed.” According to Frances Goh (N.D.), “Other examples are Toys R US failing to develop e-commerce in time, Border failing to transition to digital or online books, GM motors failing to adapt to customer needs, and Kodak failed to develop digital cameras.”
What are some important factors needed for change, adaptation, and flexibility?
As an Organizational Development (OD) practitioner, it is important that core skills, professional training, and competencies are kept up to date. It is also important to not become too arrogant and always be open to listening to other ideas. It is often the smallest seeds of an idea that can grow into one of the biggest successes.
While internal training, skills, and knowledge are important it is also important to closely watch external factors. Many new changes, trends, or ideas that surface in an external capacity tend to change things within society. One just has to look at examples such as the agricultural age, the industrial age, and the technological age. These changes throughout society are what seemingly small changes can become within society to change on a larger scale. One never knows when something will result in a push for a new revolution. Thus, the willingness to embrace change is crucial for survival.
Why are Organizational Development Practitioners Important to Adaptability and Change?
In order to keep OD relevant in any upcoming changes, it will be important to impart our knowledge of principles, concepts, and tools to leaders of organizations; These organizations will still need the assistance of OD to properly implement changes, processes, and concepts.
Over time there have been many changes in social and technological trends. Due to this OD practitioners will have to keep up with changes in the economy, technology, the workforce, and organizations. There are changes to the workforce due to younger generations with different skillsets, behaviors, and expectations. There are changes to organizations being able to spread on a global level. There are changes to technologies improving and evolving over time. There are changes to the ability of when and where employees can work due to increased mobility of jobs. According to Nancy Zentis (2017), “Design Thinking is a newer concept in OD processes. Design Thinking has four elements. These elements are: Define the problem, create and consider many options, refine ideas, and execute.”
So, in conclusion, make sure to watch trends, watch changes in external environments, keep skills up to date, and be open to ideas and change.
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