Saturday, January 9, 2010

Agility and Adaptablility...

Organizations are under constant pressure to succeed in a global business environment that is fraught with uncertainty, complexity and dynamic change. Companies that are successful in this environment are able to do so because of developing strategic human capital capabilities that create agility and adaptability in the workforce.

In IBM's 2008 survey of senior HR executives, captured in the study "The DNA of the Adaptable Workforce," asked to rate their workforce's ability to adapt to change in the business environment. IBM found the following:

"While 53 percent of companies state their workforces are generally capable of adapting to change, only 14 percent say they are very capable."

Of those 14% that stated they were "very capable," these companies were top financial performers based upon available public information. So the correlation is extremely relevant in today's business environment. The capabilities to move quickly to existing or new markets with the right products or services (agility) and adjust to the speed of change in the business environment (adaptability) are key differentiators and can provide a significant competitive advantage. Instead of reacting to the business environment, organizations that are able to develop these two strategic human capital capabilities lead the business environment.

Key to enabling development of these capabilities in the workforce is a clear linkage to the business strategy, understanding of the current and future business environment, and being able to define the knowledge and skills necessary for the workforce to develop and refine the agility and adaptability capabilities.

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