How Agility and Alignment Impact Organizational Resilience

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Organizational resilience is critical for businesses to adapt to sudden change and disruptions. Many businesses are familiar with operational efficiency which focuses on running an efficient operation and minimizing costs. Operational resilience, on the other hand, is about readiness to make adjustments in a succinct manner.

Businesses adapt when faced with inclement situations. How well they respond and whether they are able to minimize impacts depend on their organizational resilience.

The following diagram illustrates the relationship between organizational alignment and agility. Both factors affect organizational resilience.

The horizontal axis represents organizational alignment. When departments and business units don’t have aligned priorities, they compete to achieve their respective goals first. Work silos proliferate as a result of disparate priorities.

The vertical axis represents agility. The more agile a business is, it can adapt quickly and effectively. It is in a better position to capitalize on new opportunities and minimize impacts caused by negative events.

In the lower left quadrant where the organization has a rigid operation and disparate priorities, a business ends up in a constant fire-fighting mode. By focusing on its own priorities, each team places its self-interests first. With a rigid operation, teams follow rules and use them to set boundaries on responsibilities. Implementing change often involves debates about accountability and ownership. Conflicts are common. Businesses in this quadrant usually struggle to adapt.

In the lower right quadrant where the organization has alignment on priorities, a business is slow in responding to change in a rigid operating environment. Aligned priorities throughout the organization enables a collaborative culture. Teams work together to support the overall business objectives. However, a rigid operation poses hurdles from haphazard rules that slow down the pace of adaptation. As a result, the business might incur unnecessary losses.

In the upper left quadrant, disparate priorities are manifest through departments and business units operating in silos. Excellence in isolation stalls the pace of adaptation when the business faces significant headwinds. The tendency to exclude one’s team from a situation doesn’t help the business implement fully integrated solutions. The risk of adhoc solutions poses problems down the road.

In the upper right quadrant, the business has an agile operation and aligned priorities. There is organizational resilience. When facing unexpected change, leaders are quick to get teams in line and execute their adaptation plan. The congruent and high transparency culture facilitates succinct solutions that optimize performance. An aligned organization is expedient with decision making, action planning, and execution.Organizational resilience is a team sport. Share on X

Organizational resilience is a team sport. Functional excellence alone is inadequate to bring the whole organization together and implement change quickly and effectively. With aligned priorities throughout the organization, the consistent focus and supportive mindset facilitate rapid decision making and execution. Organizational resilience is a critical success factor for every business.

What would you do to enhance organizational resilience in your business?


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