Disruptive new technologies and business models have been impacting many industries for over a decade, but the key to ensuring competitiveness through these and other changes is adaptability. Business adaptability is the ability to change your structure, resources, methods and actions to respond to changes in your external environment. As Boston Consulting Group senior partner Martin Reeves has pointed out, “Sustainable competitive advantage no longer arises exclusively from position, scale and first-order capabilities in producing or delivering an offering. Increasingly, it stems from the ‘second order’ organizational capabilities that foster rapid adaptation.”
In other words, “Instead of being really good at doing some particular thing, companies must be really good at learning how to do new things.” This means establishing the right structures, systems and methods to read change signals and respond to them quickly.
How to Become More Adaptable in Your Business
As Reeves explains, today’s thriving businesses “have worked out how to experiment rapidly, frequently, and economically—not only with products and services but also with business models, processes, and strategies.”
They’ve also learned to become more adaptable by leveraging the power of people. Adaptive companies replace permanent silos and functions with flexible structures and modular units that disperse decision rights, enable free communication, and empower teams to respond rapidly to emerging changes. Often this means assembling entire teams, adding expertise or new functions, and scaling up on demand.
The advent of on-demand talent networks and the growth of the freelance economy have made this easily achievable and affordable for virtually any business. We discussed how it works and a great example from Procter & Gamble in our previous piece about on-demand talent vs. legacy models.
The Importance of Experiential Learning & Expertise
On-demand talent also plays a key role in helping companies achieve better adaptability by leveraging experiential learning and expertise. Changes happen so rapidly in today’s business environment that companies can suddenly find themselves dealing with challenges that are completely outside their experience. They might be confronted with an unprecedented problem, need to explore a new market, or need to consider changes to their business model or strategies. All of these could involve a complete departure from their prior experience.
Online talent networks such as Graphite allow companies to hire some of the world’s most experienced and highly qualified consultants, executives and subject matter experts to help tackle these challenges. In a matter of minutes, businesses can post a project or role online, privately and discreetly. They can then connect with pre-vetted professionals with proven experience and industry expertise in solving specific problems, analyzing and evaluating markets and opportunities, and leading major change initiatives.
Backed by MBAs from leading global business schools and experience at top consulting firms, investment banks and Fortune 500 companies, these professionals are highly adaptable in their own right. They often have experience working in different organizations and industries as well as with a variety of business models, methods and teams.
We’ve lived and experienced the end results by connecting thousands of these independent professionals with Graphite clients. These include some of the world’s most successful brands, firms and startups, such as Sequoia Capital, J.D. Power, Plated, Genus, Segway, Rothy’s and more. By tapping our global talent pool of independent consultants, companies are able to boost their adaptability on demand, by adding crucial talent and expertise and being able to scale up and flex their operations quickly. Whether it’s hiring an expert for a short-term project or leveraging the deep knowledge and experience of a former Big Three consultant or Fortune 500 executive, our clients are finding the key to adaptability with Graphite.
Take Your First Step Toward Better Adaptability
You can learn more about the possibilities by reading some of our success stories on our website.Then log in or sign up to learn more about our highly qualified professionals and start your search for the talent to optimize your business adaptability.