The ‘Ambidextrous Organization’ is an organizational development concept coined by R. Duncan . It indicates an organization’s ability to be aligned and efficient in its management of today’s business demands, as well as being adaptive to changes in the external environment.
Ambidexterity is achieved by balancing ‘exploration’ (search, variation, risk-taking, experimentation, flexibility, discovery or innovation) with ‘exploitation’ (refinement, choice, production, efficiency, selection, implementation, and execution) .
Since the late 2000s, many companies try to follow this notion by strictly separating everyday exploitation work from their exploration activities, e.g. via setting up innovation centers or labs. They often do so however without setting up adequate exchange mechanisms between the two ends of the spectrum. Think about innovation labs, throwing early innovation concepts over the fence, which then suffer from the ‘not invented here’ syndrome in the core organization. Thus any ambidextrous org structure needs processes and vehicles for a transition from exploration to exploitation — which some call scale-up processes/vehicles — too .