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Consortium for Service Innovation


"Change is inevitable, growth is optional." 

- John C Maxwell

The goal of the Adaptive Organization

  • is to quickly recognize and adjust to opportunities and changes in the environment

Which leads to:

  • engaged loyal customers, increased customer productivity and success
  • engaged loyal employees, optimal use of employee skills, and rapid employee skills development

Which in turn will:

  • maximize profitability by creating relevant interactions and offerings. 

If we want to create an intelligent organization it must be agile; it must be able to adapt to change rapidly. Sadly, change is not part of most organizations' DNA. This is apparent as organizations struggle with digital transformation. Creating an adaptive organization includes leveraging automation (digital transformation) as well as the cultural shift.   

Transformational change is hard. In fact, organizations seem to have an endless supply of resistance to change: a hundred reasons why it can't be done. It is as if change represents a threat. Ironically, resisting change is the threat that will render an organization irrelevant. The leadership challenge is to transform the organization's DNA such that change is an organizational competency; it becomes a natural by-product of the work. Leadership must create antibodies to the status quo.  

The traditional hierarchical organization often stops or slows down to go through a change initiative or reorganization. The adaptive organization doesn't stop to change... because it never stops changing. 

Organizational DNA is made up of the principles and beliefs held by the organization. And, those principles and beliefs are not always explicit or discussed.  Being aware of and intentional about why we do the things we do is critical in a successful transformation.  

We believe embracing the four principles described in this document will modify the DNA of the organization such that change is comfortable and constant.  This transformation creates an organization that remains adaptive and relevant through our rapidly changing environments. 


"The measure of intelligence is the ability to change." 

- Albert Einstein

Special Thanks

Principles for an Adaptive Organization is based on the experience and observations of the Members of the Consortium for Service Innovation, written by Greg Oxton with edits and feedback from David Kay, Kelly Murray, and Matt Seaman.


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