Change Management Study 2019

Leaping Forward – Paths to Organizational Dexterity

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Find out in the latest Change Management Study how Organizational Dexterity can turn a transformation towards an adaptable organization into a success.

In an increasingly volatile and complex world, impacted by Industry 4.0, Big Data, or Artificial Intelligence, speed and above all adaptability are becoming major success factors for companies. Organizational Dexterity is a behavior that allows companies to adapt flexibly to any kind of organizational change. However, many companies do not have a clear picture of what Organizational Dexterity means to them. Nor do they know which level of Dexterity they need to achieve in order to keep pace with economic and technical developments, or even how to be at the forefront. So, how do companies become “adaptable”? How do they succeed in making agile tools and methods ideally suited to ever-changing circumstances? How do they embed continuous change in the culture and mindset of employees? And what role does leadership play?

1,135 professionals from eleven countries, more than 17 industries and various company sizes participated in our study. In the first step, we gathered data on the status quo of companies regarding Organizational Dexterity in an online survey. Thereafter, we conducted in depth qualitative interviews to drill down to success factors and best practices.

The study results at a glance

In this study we examined the companies’ ability to adapt to any kind of organizational change by the example of agile transformation. However, we believe that Dexterity is far more than just the pure application of agility tools (such as Scrum and Design Thinking) and agility is only one of many possible design principles. For this reason, we have opted to expand the perspective to the meta-level of behaviors, attitudes, and values that we refer to as Dexterity. Organizational Dexterity is superior to any short-lived method, and therefore, promises more sustainable success, as it enables companies to maximize customer orientation and to respond as quickly as possible to changing customer expectations.

Organizational Dexterity is paying off: companies with high Organizational Dexterity have more satisfied employees and are economically more successful – and both are even higher if more agile ways of thinking and acting are fully integrated into everyday working life. Thereby, leadership and culture are the decisive factors for more Dexterity.

There is a significant positive correlation between Dexterity and digital competence in companies. Our study shows that companies which are digitally receptive and ready for implementation are more likely to reach the highest level of maturity of Dexterity. This is not only due to the practical benefits of IT, but also due to its result-oriented and eager to try out-, playful culture. As a (psycho)logical consequence, agile working methods made their debut in software development and are now being rolled out to other areas and entire companies as their advantages are undeniable. When data competence and the strive for workforce automation become the guiding principles, organizations are on track towards true Dexterity. As such, our study shows that companies with a higher dexterity score are pioneers concerning workforce automation.

Have we sparked your interest? You can find out more about this in our new Change Management Study.

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Meet our experts

Claudia Crummenerl

Expert in Change Management and HR Transformation, Human Resource, Workforce Transformation

Ursula Bohn

Expert in Strategy and Transformation, Change management & agile change.