Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ambidexterity as a Dynamic Capability: Resolving the Innovator's Dilemma

It seems to me that some of the insights of this Harvard Bussiness School paper could be useful for congregational re-development/transformation

Can organizations adapt and change—and if so, how does this occur? There are two major camps in the research on organizational change: those that argue for adaptation, and those that argue that as environments shift, inert organizations are replaced by new forms that better fit the changed context. There are data to support both arguments. This paper discusses the idea and practicality of ambidexterity and shows how the ability to simultaneously pursue emerging and mature strategies is a key element of long-term success. Key concepts include:

* Ambidexterity, the ability of a firm to simultaneously explore and exploit, is one solution to the innovator's dilemma as outlined by HBS professor Clayton Christensen.
* Under the appropriate conditions, organizations may be able to explore new avenues as well as exploit their existing capabilities.
* Strategic contradictions can be resolved by senior leaders who design and manage their own processes and, in turn, ambidextrous organizations. Leadership is therefore key.

Press here to read the paper

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