Organizing for the New Normal: Prepare Your Company for the Journey of Continuous Disruption

Author – Constantinos C Markides

Book discussed – 26 October 2021

Review by – Mae Keary

Disruptions are the new normal, and if organisations are going to survive and thrive, they need to adapt and change to new ways of working.  This is the thrust of Constantinos Markides book, in which he addresses the uniqueness of the current challenge and the urgency that is required to deal with it. 

He points out that the digital revolution over the last 20 years led to a transformation of how companies manage their employees, serve customers, and compete in the world. Technological changes happening now and coming down the line, will lead to even further disruptions and transformations. This calls for changes in attitude and creating the right mind-set, with new strategies that helps staff to succeed in the new environment.

To maintain this current state of preparedness, employees need to be convinced that disruptions coming their way are threats, which they can turn to opportunities for exploitation in creative and innovative ways, and to develop behaviours that lead to agility.  Key to all of this are the factors that make up the organisational environment: culture and values; structures and processes; measurements and incentives; skilled staff, attitudes, and mind-sets. A useful model is provided.

These factors need to be supported in a decentralized way and Markides introduces the ‘butterfly principle’ or predictability, which is the way that small and seemingly trivial changes in the immediate environment can have a big influence on what people do or how they behave.

Employees need the right conditions, and processes, which help them to think and to develop innovative strategies of response.  The case studies used illustrate how to do this, as it is difficult to get people to adopt an experimentation mind-set, before implementing the new strategy and making the transition.

This book offers practical, research-based insights on how to develop a new recipe of success, to assist in the preparation for a world of continuous disruption.  It is well-written and may be a helpful guide for organisations seeking to change their vision in response to the challenges ahead.

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