Organizational Nimbleness: From Ultimate Aim to Urgent Imperative
In an age when “nimbleness” has become an organizational (yet largely aspirational) virtue, many management thinkers saw the need to transition to a more contingent and less rigid workforce. There was widespread experimentation in many industries but many leaders thought that the time was perhaps not quite right
But a shocking external crisis like the current pandemic can shake organizational foundations to the core and make what had been intended to be a gradual process into an urgent imperative. A must for survival. So, shedding permanent workers and exploring contingent solutions to augment existing teams has become a risky juggling act - with repercussions on employee engagement.
What this means for the long term is still unclear but what seems beyond question is that most organizations will not simply return to “normal”. A “new normal” is in the offing even if it will be some time until its implications for most established organizations become clearer as time goes on.