Developing the adaptive organization

The why

The adaptive organization is no longer new – but it is still a difficult problem for many companies: The era of rapid change requires new approaches and skills from both organizations and individuals.

Every company is different – and yet there are many experiences to learn from. Patterns of what works and what doesn’t work.

The Growing Adaptive Organizations (GRADO) program aims to collect such patterns and prepare them so that practitioners at different levels of experience can benefit from them without creating a rigid, “one size fits all” blueprint.


The ability to learn and adapt in short cycles requires a paradigm shift in many ways.

  • Corporate culture – a culture of transparency and trust creates motivation and creativity.
  • Governance – different types of governance coexist for design, development and other parts of the organization.
  • Leadership model – employee development becomes more important than execution.
  • Autonomy and delegation – leading knowledge workers rely on their skills and intrinsic motivation.
Dandelion in the wind

Responsibility of the leaders

We want to help managers understand

  • the challenge and complexity of such change
    the need for their active support, commitment and participation
  • The need to share control and work together
    that there is no blueprint that fits their unique situation and context
  • You always develop from the point you are at, so you need to know how to properly assess your current situation and goals
  • How to iteratively change the organization using appropriate concepts and approaches.

We use the metaphor of a travel guide, because every change is also a (learning) journey. Full of surprises, unexpected twists, new discoveries, but also great disappointments. Nevertheless: it is always an exciting journey

Stories, patterns and the big picture

We believe that there is no best way to convey information.

  • Newbies may prefer stories to decide if this is the right place. Here we offer “the map” and real life stories of what went well and what went poorly.
  • When things get serious, they may be interested in copying and varying the experiences of others. At this level, we provide patterns and playbooks as resources.
  • Advanced practitioners will move more and more to a “pull” mode. For them, we have the big picture.

The Big Picture

The Big Picture is the reference for the information. It serves as a guide, source of information, glossary.


Growing Adaptive Organizations is a“special interest group” of the DACH30 initiative. Here you will find work in progress and our ideas to bring to these communities.

Questions? Get in touch

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