Research into formerly high performing organizations has consistently found that organizational exploitation drives out exploration. What does that mean? It’s simple: As organizations exploit the marketplace by doing what they do best for profit and market share, they consequently stop exploring and looking for new ideas; they stop learning in critical ways that could guarantee future success. The solution is the practice of organizational ambidexterity, the ability to be simultaneously exploitative and explorative in the marketplace, managing both elements in a rhythmic balance and dance that promote both short— and long-term performance and success. Mastering ambidexterity is not easy and takes a certain amount of trust and grit; however, for the companies that adopt this model and routinely execute it, it is a combination that works.
This book has been designed to take you on a journey, entertain you with stories, educate and stretch your current knowledge and thinking, and encourage you to reflect and question the world in which you live. It begins by reviewing the elements of the ambidextrous organization: culture, leadership, learning, and structure. It then addresses the environment of complexity, with discussions of the science of complexity, equilibrium, symmetry, structure, emergence, chaos, and governance. The third part presents strategies to help you cultivate an ambidextrous mind by overcoming some hurdles and being authentic. The book closes by describing how to arrive at organizational ambidexterity.
About the author: Eric Zabiegalski is an external organizational development consultant specializing in strategy, culture, and leadership development with an emphasis on innovation and creativity. He has worked in the private and public sectors, with for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, locally and nationally. In addition to his work as a consultant, Dr. Zabiegalski is a member of the World Institute of Action Learning Board of Directors and a professor at Webster University. He has a doctoral degree in human and organizational learning from The George Washington University.