The Ambidextrous Advantage

Hello and Happy New Year, everyone!

As we embark upon another complex year that is sure to bring many highs and lows, it’s tempting to bury your head in the day-to-day, focusing on your most pressing demands. After all, isn’t that what you were hired to do? Yes and no.

Organizations that will thrive today and tomorrow are ambidextrous. Organizational ambidexterity is the degree to which your organization can successfully address today’s challenges while also innovating for its future sustainability. This means you are balancing exploring new opportunities while exploiting existing demands. Successful ambidextrous companies such as Google, Apple, Amazon, and countless non-profit organizations are responding to the rapid changes in today’s economy and customer needs while ensuring they are around well into the future. But how?

These organizations hire, promote, equip and empower ambidextrous leaders. These leaders are adaptable and curious and empower their staff to explore new and innovative ways of achieving the work. Their influence radiates from the front to the top lines of the organization, practicing leadership styles fitting to the situation rather than embracing the “style of the moment.”

According to the authors of “Lead and Disrupt,” you’ll know your organization is ambidextrous when:

  1. There is a focus on strategic intent.
  2. The top management team is operationally strong.
  3. There is a unifying culture throughout the organization.

Mark Looi offers a good summary of “Lead and Disrupt” to help you explore organizational ambidexterity: How to Become an Ambidextrous Organization.

Here’s to your ambidexterity this year!