NEW YORK, Jan. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The world's fastest growing, most profoundly impactful companies are using radically different, more adaptive operating models than their traditional peers. All of these models share one crucial characteristic: Responsiveness.
Today, Undercurrent, an organizational design, strategy and management consulting firm specializing in organizational design for the 21st century, announces the 20 Most Responsive Companies of 2014, featuring leading global brands including Valve, Netflix and Patagonia.
Organizations are struggling to keep up with their customers. Executives caught between discontented investors and disruptive competitors are struggling to find a path forward. In contrast, Responsive Organizations are built to learn and respond rapidly by optimizing for the open flow of information; encouraging experimentation and learning on rapid cycles; and organizing as a network of employees, customers, and partners motivated by shared purpose. Responsive Organizations value a way of working that is designed for uncertainty.
In its research, Undercurrent found that The 20 Most Responsive Companies of 2014 saw faster sales growth over the past five years than the S&P 500. The publicly listed responsive companies saw five year sales growth of 32.0% – six times the average sales growth seen by the companies in the S&P 500 (6.0%).
"For any important institution, being Responsive at scale is the most pressing challenge of our time," said Aaron Dignan, CEO, Undercurrent and author of the upcoming title, The Responsive Organization. "New technologies and new entrants are rewriting the future as quickly as it is understood. The outside world is now changing faster than the inside of many corporations. Responsive organizations prioritize new ways of working and organizing that fight that trend."
Undercurrent's 20 Most Responsive Companies of 2014, in order, are:
- Warby Parker
- Lending Club
*For the methodology behind the 20 Most Responsive Companies of 2014 list see undercurrent.com/responsivecompanies.
Along with the release of the list, Undercurrent has also made public their proprietary tool, The Pulse [http://pulse.undercurrent.com/], which helps organizations assess their ability to be Responsive. By benchmarking the principles measured by The Pulse, an organization can begin to determine and improve their ability to be Responsive – improving even the largest and most traditional institutions' value to its employees, customers, and shareholders much like the companies on this year's 20 Most Responsive Companies of 2014 list.
Three areas Undercurrent recommends companies focus on to become more Responsive include:
- Planning versus emergence - Move from long-term planning to short-term hypothesis testing creating teams who embrace uncertainty and a process that helps organizations prepare for a variety of possible outcomes.
- Privacy versus transparency - Work in the open. Use tech tools to allow teams to share insights and outputs in real time. This leads to both process and product that is inherently designed to work together producing data that is available to their entire organization.
- Hierarchies versus networks - In the past, hierarchies created order and clarity of authority, rank, and power. Today, technology and connectivity has increased our ability to self-organize, collaborating more easily across internal and external organizational boundaries. Working as a network allows organizations to organize with many different kinds of connections, and increased autonomy.
Undercurrent is an organizational design firm focused on addressing the complex challenges facing company's operating in the 21st Century. How do companies succeed in a world where accessible and shareable information rewrites the future as quickly as it can be understood? Where relentless technological innovation has created a future impossible to predict? For the past eight years, Undercurrent has been tackling these challenges and creating more Responsive organizations ready to weather the unpredictability of our times. Undercurrent has developed a proprietary tool, The Pulse, to help organizations assess their own organizational responsiveness. Undercurrent's client roster includes General Electric, American Express, PepsiCo, Makerbot, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Sonic Drive-In, Estee Lauder and Argo Insurance. The company is headquartered in New York City, made up of more than 35 strategists, misfits, and makers.
For more information please visit undercurrent.com.