In today's fluid world, deliberate adaptation is a prized capability. It enables business leaders and knowledge workers to be the drivers of their own destiny. But what are the tools that enable leaders to engage in deliberate adaptation? We have coined the umbrella term "super-flexibility" to describe the capacity to deliberately adapt to new realities. In a nutshell, super-flexibility integrates several themes that facilitate adaptation:
These adaptive qualities are not just relevant for Silicon Valley innovators and entrepreneurs; they are critical for business leaders whose enterprises are undergoing a massive digital transformation. As one global leader commented: "we are playing a new game, but using old rules. We need new ideas and fresh thinking that can help us lead in a world where change is the only constant." This reminds me of Charles Darwin's famous quote: "It is not the strongest or the most intelligent that survive, but the most adaptable."
Homa Bahrami is an international educator, advisor, board member, and author, specializing in organizational flexibility, team alignment, and dynamic leadership in global, knowledge-based industries. She is a senior lecturer at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley and a faculty director at the Haas Center for Executive Education, and has served on the Board of the Haas Center for Teaching Excellence.
She is the co-author of a major textbook (with Harold Leavitt, Stanford University), "Managerial Psychology: Managing Behavior in Organizations," published by the University of Chicago Press, and translated into many languages. Her latest book, "Super-Flexibility for Knowledge Enterprises," (second edition published by Springer and co-authored with Stuart Evans, Carnegie Mellon) focuses on practical approaches for strategizing, organizing, and leading knowledge workers based on their collective experience and field research in Silicon Valley during the past 30 years.
Bahrami has served on the boards of directors of three public technology companies and has been a member of all three board committees: audit, compensation, and governance. She is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors and is active in executive education and executive development in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.