Organizational Transformation or Organizational Redefinition?

Γ. Καραδήμας Σύμβουλος επιχειρήσεων
Problems and Opportunities
July 5, 2020
Managing the Strategy Process for Transforming Organizations
January 3, 2021
Σύμβουλος επιχειρήσεων Γ. Καραδήμας

There is a change and it is accelerating! And organizations cannot do otherwise but adapt to or even better lead it. For, if they do not do it themselves, their competitors will. And then things will definitely become tougher. At least that's how almost all business management textbooks teach. But that no longer seems to be enough…

The speed with which change occurs as well as its magnitude, has made the need to develop the ability of organizations to manage and at the same time to integrate it into their own DNA, more imperative than ever. Quite simply, organizations need to constantly transform and adapt if they want to survive and thrive. But if the speed and magnitude of change has made the constant transformation of organizations more than necessary, the change that a crisis like that of a pandemic can bring about requires much more than that. And this is because, quite simply, change, in addition to being fast and big, has now become traumatic.

Organizations are as good as their ability to solve problems, faster than their competitors. At least this is how it used to be until today. The new circumstances, however, increase the demands on them in an imperative and absolute way. The difference with the past is that, quite simply, traumatic change makes the problems that organisms now face existential. And it could not be otherwise when not only the organizations themselves but also entire industries, or even worse, entire markets are threatened. As a result of the new nature of the problems they have to deal with under these circumstances, it becomes especially important for organizations to learn not only to solve bigger and faster problems faster than their competitors but also to learn to deal effectively with situations beyond any imagination. They just have to learn to redefine themselves!

The acceptance of the new normality is central to the whole process. The normal of yesterday will simply not be the normal of tomorrow. And it is important for organizations to stop denying that and to constantly look for ways to redefine their own identity. Central to the whole process is the question of why they should continue to exist in the future and in this context it is necessary for them to identify a new effectiveness on an ongoing basis. Entrepreneurship therefore acquires an even more special role in the future. And it is clear that in the context of finding a new effectiveness, organizations need to balance the need for focus and flexibility. The possibility of whole industries collapsing makes it necessary to open the debate in what an organization decides to get involved in and in what not. The rapid adaptation to conditions of traumatic change simply imposes the need to engage in a wider range of activities.

At the same time, it becomes necessary for organizations to examine and adopt new business models, since the need for dealing with traumatic events in the environment, which as it seems will be happening more and more often, makes the changing of the behavior of costs necessary. While fixed costs in a relatively predictably rising market could lead to better efficiency, in a violently changing one it cannot be a good choice. The changing of the behavior of costs and the adoption of methods that make it variable become very important. At the same time, the need to maintain more liquid assets is increasing.

The need of organizations to redefine themselves, especially in the context of a pandemic, makes it imperative to ensure a high level of social maintenance. Remote work usually, under normal circumstances, raises issues that have to do with the control and the productivity of their people. However, a lurking degeneration of relationships both within and between organizations is beginning to emerge. And this tends to become a major problem. The need to promote social maintenance in other ways is now apparent and this seems to be an important source of concern for the future.

It is clear that the problems that organizations are called to face today go beyond the classic problems of the past as they are at the same time more complex and more pressing. The need, therefore, not only for continuous transformation but ultimately for their redefinition is now beginning to become visible. And this will become more and more pressing and more and more vital as the change accelerates and as it becomes more violent and traumatic!