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The responsive organization

“Responsiveness, autonomy, empowerment, experimentation, transparency…The things that you need to do to become more responsive, to be able to learn quickly and respond quickly to things you learn often feel like the opposite of efficiency.”

-Adam Pisoni, Founder, Yammer

Responsiveness is becoming the key to competitiveness in the ever faster moving and interconnected global economy. To succeed, companies need to shift their focus from efficiency of process to effectiveness of outcomes.

Traditionally, efficiency, consistency and reliability have been some of the touchstones of a successful organization. But in today’s business world, companies need to embrace other skills in order to survive, chief among them the ability to quickly adapt to changing conditions, to experiment and to accept uncertainty.

International fashion company Zara, for example, runs its manufacturing facilities at 75 to 80 percent efficiency, not 100 percent. Why? It enables the company to be responsive to its customers and to be able change its manufacturing lineup when there is customer demand for something new, or different.

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Text by Suzanne Choney. Videos by Microsoft and Pop Tech.