Methodology Overview

The Adizes Methodology is a proprietary structured system for accelerating organizational change that was developed by Dr. Ichak Adizes, and has been applied by the Licensees of the Adizes Institute since 1975.

At its foundation, is the fundamental working principle that all organizations-like living organisms-have a lifecycle and exhibit predictable and repetitive patterns of behavior as they grow and age. At each new stage of development, every organization is faced with a unique set of challenges. How well or poorly these issues are addressed and necessary changes made determines the success or failure of that organization.

Leading an organization through lifecycle transitions is neither easy nor obvious. Methods that produce success in one stage can create failure in the next. Fundamental changes in leadership and management are required, and solutions are created with the active participation, understanding and support of the managers who implement them.

The methodology is delivered by Adizes Certified Associates who have gone through a rigorous training and certification process. Adizes Associates are not conventional management consultants who write reports and make recommendations. Nor are they organizational development trainers or facilitators. Instead, they are change management experts who work side-by-side with clients to develop and implement needed changes. We provide comprehensive long-term support to our clients, tailoring the diversity and duration of our services to meet their specific needs.

When practicing the Methodology, Adizes Associates implement one or more of 11 different phases. These phases are a systematic approach designed to help a client accelerate their development from one Lifecycle phase to the next, on their path to Prime. The sequence, depth of delivery and duration of each phase are customized to meet the special needs of each client.

Leadership Training & Development

At Adizes, we use a highly collaborative, common-sense approach that deeply engages a critical mass of key leaders from all levels and all areas of the organization. This generally includes the CEO, President, COO, all direct reports, and key managers from sales, marketing, product development, R & D, operations, IT, customer service, accounting, and other critical areas. We also engage key leaders at lower levels who may not have supervisory responsibilities such as top sales, customer service, production and accounting personnel. Often these individuals bring a valuable perspective senior leaders do not have.

Unlike traditional management consultants who provide answers, Adizes provides powerful concepts, methods and tools so that CEOs and their management teams can figure out the right answers for themselves. By working in this manner, Adizes helps our clients build strong ownership, accountability, and commitment to the solutions developed, and avoid the destructive conflicts that cause many consultant-driven change efforts to fail. Collaboration also allows Adizes to leverage the deep industry domain expertise and creativity that is already resident inside our clients.

We help our clients accelerate success and in the process build healthy, high-performing, self-managing organizations that have the capability to address any challenge. Our methods apply to any private or public organization in any industry. Many of our clients are on the growing side of the organization lifecycle. Others are aging organizations that want to rejuvenate themselves. We are selective about our clients and only work with organizations that are serious about making real change.

At Adizes, our senior-level Certified Associates have the in-depth knowledge and experience to present the Adizes Methodology and its approach to harnessing the power of change to your top management team. The presentations are customized to address the specific challenges you are facing today, and can be delivered either on-site or online in a variety of languages. The content is designed so that participants can derive an immediate benefit from the material and put their new knowledge to use right away. Some of our most popular topics include:

How to analyze your organization’s structure and discover what problems it is creating? Which conflicts are desirable and which are not? Is there a right way to structure a company for success? Incredible insights from our accumulated knowledge in structuring organizations all over the world will be presented.

How can total transparency be created in a complex organization? How can you simultaneously empower your people and control the organization? How do you make people totally accountable? How do you implement the complex “think global, act local” slogan in multinational companies? The answer to these questions can be found in the practical model of the transparent organization.

Despite the popularity of mergers and acquisitions the history of this type of corporate growth is replete with dramatic failures and disappointments. Most mergers and acquisitions do not turn out as well as expected. Studies show that about half of them destroy shareholder value and another third create marginal contribution. It seems that deals that look great on paper often turn out to be disappointing for all sides involved. The focus of this lecture is on how to predict some of these problems before they arise. In addition, the questions of what are the critical post- merger integration issues and what are the critical tools that will ensure a smooth integration process will be addressed.

Markets, industries, countries and economies are changing at an amazing pace. This change affects virtually any organization alive – both negatively and positively. Extraordinary insights and proven methods and strategies for navigating your organization in these turbulent times while building real competitive advantage are presented in this lecture/workshop.

How does organizational structure inhibit transparency and what tools can be used to regain accountability in times of change? How is accountability lost in complex organizations and what are the critical elements needed to regain effective control and prevent a catastrophe? Discover the power and the beauty of accountability systems.

Aging companies often are suffering from a loss of “entrepreneurial edge.” Many times they can be rescued through an action plan to bring them to Prime. In this session, participants will learn how to rejuvenate a bureaucratized organization; how to avoid decisions which bring about side effects that are worse than the initial problem; how to create the desired entrepreneurial structure; and finally, how some structures stifle creativity, and the best way to ensure that your organization obtains and/or maintains its own entrepreneurial edge.

As organizations grow, they experience different problems. Topics explored in this presentation include: how the leadership style of the leader must change as the organization grows; how the factors that bring success are the same ones that can eventually create disaster; how to systematize an entrepreneurial organization without losing the entrepreneur; how to restructure an entrepreneurial company to achieve more efficiency without losing flexibility. Organizations caught in the “founder’s entrepreneurial trap” will be shown how to make the transition to professional management.

Corporations, like living organisms, experience predictable patterns of behavior as they grow and develop. Not unlike living organisms, they are faced with specific transitional problems as they progress through the various stages of their lifecycle. The success or failure of any organization depends on its ability to meet the challenges presented by growth and change, and to make healthy transitions from one stage of development to the next. In this session, participants will explore how corporations grow and develop and how to keep them dynamic and vital entities.

This session explores how organizations grow, which problems are normal, which are abnormal and why. In addition, the tools CEOs should use to manage accelerated growth while minimizing growth related pains is also explored.

No one is a perfect manager or leader. What is needed is a complementary team. Participants learn how to choose the people who will be on their team and how to build a climate in which all can grow and prosper. The important issues of mutual respect, balance, flexibility, maturity and the ability to harness conflict are introduced and explored.

Each of the four personality styles – Producer, Administrator, Entrepreneur, Integrator (PAEI) – communicates differently, hears things differently and learns differently. It is vital to understand these differences, learn to identify the style of the person with whom you are communicating, and then be able to communicate in a way in which each of you can truly understand the other’s message — and both the spoken and unspoken agendas. In this session, the different styles of communication are defined, the reasons for conflict between the different styles are explored and methods for communicating are given.

Conflict is not only natural, but it is necessary and desirable. However, it is important to distinguish between constructive and destructive conflict, and to learn how to create an environment in which the conflict is productive. In this session, the role of mutual trust and respect will be explored as an avenue for creating that constructive conflict, and the concepts of organizational synergy and symbiosis will be presented. For more information or to schedule a speaker at your location, contact us.

Our core work is helping our clients accelerate success by applying the principles and practices of Adizes, and in the process build healthy, high-performing, self-managing organizations that have the capability to address any challenge. Our transformation projects, conducted by Adizes Organizational Therapists™, generally proceed in four steps:

Step 1: Awareness.

We begin by teaching the powerful concepts of Adizes. This allows us to get to know the client and vice versa, so that together we can assess need, chemistry and fit.

Step 2. Diagnosis.

We begin with a diagnostic workshop called a Syndag®, which is an abbreviation for Synergetic Diagnostic Workshop. A Syndag is a fast paced, highly interactive 3 day workshop that deeply engages up to 30 leaders representing all levels and functional areas of the business. A Syndag is a powerful vehicle to kick off any transformation project.

Step 3. Planning.

The outputs from the Syndag gives Adizes the data and insights we need to work with the change champions in the client to develop a comprehensive plan of attack to dramatically improve performance and strengthen the corporate culture in the process. Our goal is always to accelerate a client’s journey to PRIME, the only stage of the organizational lifecycle where they can be a dominant competitor and enjoy market leading customer demand, growth, profitability, and financial strength.

Organizational Transformation

Adizes Associates implement the methodology in phases, as part of a systematic approach designed to help a client accelerate their development from one Lifecycle phase to the next, on their path to Prime. The sequence, depth of delivery and duration of each phase are customized to meet the needs of each client.

The 11 Phases of Adizes Methodology

A team-based managerial self-audit of the key internal issues that must be resolved to dramatically improve overall performance and help the organization become the champion of its market(s).

A team-based managerial self-audit of the key internal issues that must be resolved to dramatically improve overall performance and help the organization become the champion of its market(s).

Installation and management of a new change management structure that complements the organization’s normal hierarchical structure. The change system provides a new mechanism for continuously identifying and addressing systemic multi-departmental problems and opportunities.

The organization’s focus on strategic change is developed by looking at both the external and internal environment and selecting critical strategic imperatives. This information is then molded into the organization’s game plan for achieving a common direction and common goals that are backed by the management team.

The organization’s structure is redesigned to better support the new mission, match the organization’s technology, and respond to the environment with a clearly defined goal of producing vitality, entrepreneurship and growth, while supporting clear accountability for performance.

Management information systems are reviewed to help ensure that information for decision making is aligned with the responsibilities of the new structure. The goal is to have information systems that clearly define individual accountability.

The Adizes technology is transferred to the client. We license, train and certify a critical mass of client personnel so that they can cost effectively cascade Adizes down into the organization at all levels.

We use teamwork to develop plans and “stretch” the organization in order to achieve its peak performance. This phase typically produces rapid impacts on profitability, because it causes staff to aim for higher levels of performance.

We work to evaluate the long-term direction and viability of each organizational unit. The emerging strategy supports current successes and identifies new directions for replacing discontinued activities.

To ensure that a solid mechanism for continuous adaptability to change is operating efficiently, we formalize the change management system initiated in Phase III and integrate it with structure designed in Phase V to create top-down and bottom-up flows of energy.

The new strategies, responsibilities, and teamwork require reassessment of the organization’s incentive and compensation systems. They must be consistent with and aligned to support achievement of the newly defined goals.

Interactive Tools

Adizes Corporate Lifecycle

Learn what stage of the Adizes Organizational Lifecycle your company is so you can respond proactively to the right problems and opportunities.

Find out what type of management style you are so you can work effectively with your team.


Join our webinars, hosted by Adizes Associates from all over the globe.

Over the course of more than 40 years, Dr. Ichak Adizes has developed and refined a proprietary methodology that bears his name. The Adizes Methodology enables corporations, governments, and complex organizations to achieve exceptional results and manage accelerated change without destructive conflicts.

Past Webinars