How to become an Ambidextrous Organization?


The ambidextrous organization is defined as an organization’s ability to be aligned and efficient in its management of today’s business demand as well as being adaptive to change in the environment at the same time. In other words, an organization which works on efficiency, as well as innovation at the same time, is an ambidextrous organization.

Future is uncertain and anything can happen shortly. Anything can pivot in any direction. Organizations not only need to look for efficiency in their products or services, but they also need to work on innovation to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

No matter how much efficiency a company achieve in its product, if the product is no relevance for tomorrow’s demand, is of no use. If the company is not working on any new products, i.e., no innovation, any change in the dynamics can make the company history.

In the following ways, you can make your organization an ambidextrous organization.

Two different teams: The first step in building an ambidextrous organization is you need to build two teams with their specific task. One will be assigned the task of improving the efficiency of current products and the second one is assigned the task of looking for innovation in the current field of operations or into new fields. Building two teams are important because you cannot put a single person into different mentalities. Even if you assigned two different tasks to one single person, one task will lack behind even if it is done by the same person. You cannot assign both tasks to a single person and tell him to jump around on both of them. Even this approach will not give you any fruits.

The common senior executive team: When you build two separate teams, they are different in every aspect but they are still part of the same organization. They must work under a common management team. Working like this bring many benefits, the company will always know about what is happing in which team, information can flow through senior executives, and when the senior team guides both the teams they know what their mottos are and where they are heading. Having a single management team will let the information flow between both the team. If the innovation team is working on a product and need some help on the production aspect, in this case, the efficiency team can provide their valuable knowledge where it is needed.

Different culture: The organization needs to allow flourishing different cultures in both the teams. Organizations need to embrace this and allow their different culture to grow. One cannot perform well if the culture does not support it. To achieve efficiency, you need a culture where everything is monitored and recorded where people attitude is to save money wherever they can. But, the culture in the innovation team is to be of somewhat carelessness, which will let them have some radical ideas and help them think outside the box. A culture where a failed idea is not punished, innovation is bound to happen.

Different rewarding system: Every organization has its rewarding system which may not work for everyone. This rewarding system needs to change to adapt to the needs of the people who are working under it. You cannot put in place one rewarding system for both the teams when the aim is different in every aspect. The new rewarding system is built which will reward the appropriate outcomes in two different teams which are helping in achieving the goal of the team. The reward of the senior executive also needs some changes. You cannot reward executive teams on a few KPIs. After building two separate teams, the executive’s reward should work on the performance of the organization as a whole which will encourage them to push both the mentalities of efficiency and innovation in the organization.

Different operating system: Both the teams have given freedom into selecting their operations activities. How they will work? What kind of hierarchy they will have? What kind of team structure they will have? How they interact with each other? And many more question like them, the team should be given freedom into deciding all them on their own. The operation which will allow teams in achieving their max output.

Different R&D departments: After building two different teams, two different R&D departments are needed. Organizations have limited resources and R&D departments are huge cash burners but if you allow both the team to access one R&D facility than people working within the facility may not be able to work effectively. They will juggle every project with their biases attached and put a few projects on the back burner which they feel like is not important at the moment. If both the team have access to their R&D facility, the people working in the R&D and the team members will share one vision. People in the R&D department will understand radical ideas and work towards achieving the team goal of efficiency or innovation.