The Adaptable Organization Series

Part 5: The Ecosystem

Posted by Don Miller and Tiffany McDowell on September 6, 2019.

Through our past four blog posts on the Adaptable Organization (The Individual, The Leader, The Team, and The Organization), we explored ways companies can successfully align their organizational structure, team environment, and leadership to bring out the best in its individuals. However, all these efforts can fall short if the organization does not fully study the ecosystem it exists in.
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How purpose became the new “it” term and let companies off the hook in the process

Posted by Erica Volini on April 25, 2019.

Let me get this out of the way…purpose in organizations is important. In fact, some would argue that over the past few years, it’s become paramount and on par with the need to deliver profits. And organizations that have embraced this view have proven that it doesn’t have to be one or the other, but that both are possible with the right focus, brand, and leadership. But that’s not what I’m writing about. Because the issue I see is not whether purpose is relevant, it’s whether purpose has inadvertently made the other aspects of what matters in the workplace irrelevant.

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Who owns Future skill-building?

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Posted by Jeff Schwartz and David Mallon on March 04, 2019.

Companies need skilled workers to stay in business. Workers need skills to get a job and advance. It’s a two-way street. So who’s responsible for ensuring the workforce is developing the right skills and they are available at the right time? And what about the near-constant need to reskill and upskill as technology evolves? Do other institutions in society have a role and a responsibility, too—education? government? Asking and answering hard questions like these is part of the ongoing rise of the social enterprise and the growing power of individuals to influence organizational behavior.

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Prediction: Organizations will rethink work for a more productive workforce.


Posted by Kathi Enderes on November 29, 2018.

The world of work has become incredibly complex. Workers are trying to navigate a maze of hierarchies, work processes, and never-ending new communication methods that are all meant to make them more productive, but ultimately having the opposite effect. The rise of the social enterprise means that organizational boundaries are becoming permeable, while what and who constitutes an “employee” will be redefined with broader, more inclusive concepts. And teams are rising to the fore as work processes become project-based, even as many organizations cling to industrial-age hierarchies.

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Predictions for 2019: The productivity imperative


Posted by David Mallon on November 27, 2018.

If there is one line that sums up the outlook for HR in 2019, it might be that backhanded blessing, “May you live in interesting times.” These are interesting times, indeed. The increasingly influential role of social capital in organizational success is compelling companies to reimagine their purpose and redefine what it means to be a good citizen, internally and externally. In this new social enterprise, more collaborative and productive relationships with employees, customers, and communities go hand in hand with the quest for revenue and profit.1

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Why your social enterprise doesn’t have to be political


Posted by Michael Gretczko on November 14, 2018.

A recent Twitter Poll we conducted found that 54 percent of employees don’t expect their organizations to take a stand on social issues and 46 percent say “yes” they expect them to. In these times of disruptive social dynamics, we have been exploring the role of the employer in this conversation.

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Communicating in—and about—the social enterprise

Employee expectations have changed, new research tells us. Your approach to communicating with employees should change, too.


Posted by Melissa Yim on November 2, 2018.

In the social enterprise, the voice of the individual is more profound than ever. In turn, the employer–employee contract must involve two-way communication. Employees define what is important to them, both at work and in society, and the employee expectation is that employers will meet their ideals. Without a strategic approach of communicating the organization’s intentions, priorities, and stance on business, workplace, and social issues, even if they reflect workers’ expectations, companies might as well have no position at all. If your people don’t know your mission, then your mission doesn’t exist. Communication is king.

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Spotlight on Unilever: Practicing purposeful business through the Sustainable Living Plan

Posted on June 11, 2018.

Unilever’s long and strong heritage and culture of helping to make the world a better place stems from the company’s earliest beginnings in 1800s Victorian England.1 Today Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan guides the purposeful way the company operates globally through three overarching goals: (1) improve the health and well-being of a billion people, (2) enhance livelihoods for millions of people, and (3) reduce the environmental impact of its business.2 Beyond the positive social and environmental effects of the goals themselves, the Sustainable Living Plan also serves the company by spurring growth, helping to reduce costs and risks, and improving trust in the company.

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