Ambidexterity is a concept that has been developed in organizational theory and management strategy in order to describe how organizations can be more successful by leveraging both exploration (innovation) and exploitation(operations). It refers to an organization's ability to engage in creative activities that result in exploring new ideas, while simultaneously leveraging existing processes, structures, capabilities, and resources in order to capitalize on those new ideas.
The idea behind ambidexterity is that organizations must find ways to balance innovation with operational efficiency. On one side of ambidexterity is exploration – creating new products or services as well as testing out radical concepts. The other side involves exploiting existing resources (such as processes, systems and technology) for ongoing operations. Organizations must be able to successfully negotiate these two aspects if they want to remain competitive over time.
The ability of a firm to change their business smoothly in preparation for the future, all the while supporting their current operations. Ambidexterity is difficult to achieve, because the skills and structure needed to maintain current business operations and prepare for the future are different. This is because preparation for the future through innovation is usually more organic, while maintaining the current business strategy is more mechanistic.
Related Keywords: Exploration, Exploitation, Innovation, Operations
What is Ambidexterity?
The ability of a firm to prepare the business for the future while also supporting current operations.