Any organization has 2 businesses, the one that it has today and the one that it needs for tomorrow, Ambidexterity is the ability of an organization to deal with its business of today and tomorrow.

Ambidexterity in general

Being able to use both of your hands adroitly is known as ambidexterity. And this is a phenomenon increasingly applied to companies where the tension between two different business models is described as “organizational ambidexterity”.

The concept was first applied to managerial contradictions by the academic Robert Duncan in 1976 and has since entered various streams of research – in strategic management as alignment versus adaptability; and in operations management as flexibility versus efficiency; or in innovation management as radical versus incremental.

Research has shown that ambidexterity leads to higher performance but at the same time it emphasizes that the tension between two distinct capabilities is a key challenge.

The 2 engines

According to, the challenge of innovation requires companies to drive two engines of growth. Engine 1 is your core business, and today’s customer. It is about how you sell and serve your customers, your core proposition and “how you’re delighting those individual customers in growing with them”.

Engine 2 on the other hand (and end) is different. It is about finding out what will be your customer of tomorrow, what capabilities will be required and who will be your competition. Engine 1 is more about execution and engine 2 is more about experimentation.

How we illustrate it

In other words, Engine 1 is about Now going Forward while the Engine 2 is coming from the Future, its Future Back.

Engine 1, the Core or Center

The CORE of an organization is its day-to-day activities, its business-as-usual scenario and its internalities, its people, assets, systems, technology and culture, etc; It is what is seen but also what is not seen anymore or at all. Its capabilities useful for the future and those missing too.

It’s about continuous improvement, repeatability and optimizing a very proven financial model. At AUGMNT we also consider that Engine 1 includes adjacent opportunities.

Engine 2, the Edge or Periphery

For an organization to be future-ready, it must first explore its EDGE or PERIPHERY which is a complex web of intertwining externalities representing the future as and futures and their opportunities, threats and imperatives, uncertainty and also potential for disruptions.

It is all about experimentation and agility because we don’t deal with “knowns” anymore.

Engine 1 & 2

Organizations cannot choose between the short and long-term anymore, they must resolve this seeming dilemma by doing both. Organizations must defend and expand their Core Business Engine while choosing a preferred future to develop their Future Business Engine. But many questions are raised as to how these engines relate or complement each other. For example, what capabilities of the current business can be used (or not) in the business of the future?



Engine 1 and 2 are the BUSINESS OF THE FUTURE


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Space intentionally left for the future

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