In 2018, the Accenture Disruptability Index revealed that 63% of the world’s companies are experiencing disruption. Disruption may take any number of forms, from the rapid-fire innovation shaking the tech industry to the market volatility transforming the energy sector.
To contend with these changes, organizations must be prepared to grow and develop employees, adapt to both internal and external change, deliver innovation at speed, maximize employee engagement, and advance personal and collective achievement. Together, these five elements create organizational agility, which corresponds to an organization’s preparedness for disruption and capacity for sustaining a long-term competitive edge.
As such, many business leaders strive to develop each of the five components of organizational agility through a laundry list of action items ranging from resource allocation to training initiatives. However, taking such a piecemeal approach is rarely effective in ensuring these capabilities stick. For instance, a few memos and training sessions may prompt employees to engage more actively in their work for a few months, but this engagement is likely to plateau fairly quickly if it is not deeply ingrained in the culture of the organization.
Corporate Mindset Is the Secret to Organizational Agility
Regardless of common conceptions, company culture encompasses much more than workplace perks and social events. Rather, culture is the collective expression of the normative attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors of the organization’s members.
According to the proven wisdom of The Results Pyramid, attitudes and beliefs inform the actions that lead to topline business results. As such, in order to achieve true organizational agility, an organization’s underlying attitudes and behaviors must promote the development of these capabilities.
While attributes such as an optimistic attitude and high efficiency may contribute to organizational agility to some degree, there are four key concepts that are at the core of organizational agility: feedback-seeking, creative problem-solving, psychological ownership, and effective action-taking.
Feedback-seeking involves proactively soliciting others’ perspectives in order to gauge one’s own performance — or the effectiveness of one’s actions in driving desired business results.
Creative problem-solving evidences employees’ abilities to overcome challenges through meaningful collaboration.
Psychological ownership indicates employees’ willingness to take personal accountability for closing existing performance gaps.
Effective action-taking is the ability to execute on strategy and adjust action-items in accordance with changing conditions or unexpected issues.
Collectively, we refer to these four concepts as the corporate mindset. When adopted by all members of an organization — from the CEO to the newest entry-level hire — the corporate mindset enables any business to maximize its organizational agility.
Here are five statistics from the Culture Advantage Index that illustrate the impact of the corporate mindset on organizational agility:
Organizations in the top quartile for a culture of accountability — who practice the four elements of corporate mindset — have, on average:
- 28% higher engagement levels
- 31% more growth potential
- 25% higher rates of achievement
- 30% greater adaptability in the face of change
- 27% faster execution
Of the four elements of the corporate mindset, psychological ownership has been shown to wield the most influence over employee engagement. As such, in order to boost the rate at which all employees “show up” and participate actively at work, organizations must cultivate greater levels of psychological ownership in every team member.
While feedback-seeking, creative problem-solving, and effective action-taking all bear upon personal and collective rates of growth, levels of psychological ownership disproportionately affect these rates. When all employees feel personally accountable for advancing desired results, they achieve accelerated professional growth and improve the growth of their organizations.
Whether personal or organizational, achievement rests at the very top of The Results Pyramid. The achievement of desired results is maximized when benchmarks are not only met, but surpassed. The highest-achieving employees and organizations are those who have mastered effective action-taking — the ability to execute on solutions that drive results.
Just 30% of an organization’s ability to change can be explained by factors outside of the corporate mindset. This means that cultivating high rates of feedback-seeking, creative problem-solving, psychological ownership, and effective action-taking equips an organization to deftly handle unanticipated changes in its industry, markets, or the economy at large. High rates of effective action-taking have proven to be the most predictive factor of an organization’s ability to change.
When every member of an organization embodies the corporate mindset, they develop better solutions more quickly, staying several strides ahead of their competitors. Analysis of data from the Culture Advantage Index indicates that effective action-taking exerts the most influence on an organization’s speed-to-market.
Fostering the Corporate Mindset Among All Employees
The numbers don’t lie: when every member of an organization puts the corporate mindset into action, the organization sees crucial improvements to its rates of growth, ability to adapt to change, speed-to-market, employee engagement, and personal and collective achievement.
Now, thanks to the Culture Advantage Index, the only tool of its kind on the market, organizations of any size and shape can take stock of their organization’s health by quantifying precise levels of feedback-seeking, creative problem-solving, psychological ownership, and effective action-taking.
The Culture Advantage Index is not only a diagnostic tool, but a prescriptive one as well. The Index is able to pinpoint rates of each element of the corporate mindset at the individual, team, and organizational levels, highlight areas for improvement, and recommend methods for closing crucial performance gaps. Armed with this knowledge, leaders are able to preemptively nip any problem in the bud and begin their cultural transformation toward greater organizational agility.