Dr. Adizes: I welcome you to Adizes Methodology.

What is the essence of the Adizes Methodology?

We all deal with change. Whenever there is change, there are going to be problems. How do you handle problems? How do you grow a company when there is so much change?

The problem is that there is always uncertainty and risk. You don’t know what is going to happen. How can you handle uncertainty and risk better than the competition? That is the purpose of the Adizes methodology.

This methodology was not developed in the library at a university. I left the university to go to the real world and see how to make this happen—how to make companies grow, in spite of uncertainty and risk.

This methodology has been tested for fifty years and in fifty-eight countries, in companies of all sizes, from startups to the biggest in the world. Please look at our website: you will see presidents of companies who say they grew their company from $12 million to $4 billion with the Adizes Methodology. It is a testament to the methodology’s efficacy.

Why the success?

If you have a complementary team, you see things someone else doesn’t see, and someone else sees things you don’t see. Together, as long as the team is different in styles, you see more. That reduces uncertainty.

Now, if you have the same interest as someone else, if you have common interests, that will lower the risk because those whom you need will cooperate. When there are common interests, there is cooperation. When there is cooperation, there is less risk. So, a complementary team based on common interests reduces uncertainty and risk.

That raises the question, what causes people to share information to make better decisions? Mutual respect. And what will make people have common interests? Mutual trust.

The whole Adizes Methodology is about how to build mutual trust and respect in a company so that the company can better handle risk and uncertainty, and change. The whole Adizes Methodology, the whole Adizes program, is designed to build mutual trust and respect in a company which not only make your company happier but also will make your company richer.

A company will grow better outside if it is integrated inside. If people are fighting inside, all the energy goes inside, and no energy is available to deal with the outside.

Now, how do you build mutual trust and respect?

We have to change the culture inside the company.


The program is very systematic, complete with steps and manuals. The results are really good—as I told you, companies have grown from $12 million to $4 billion—but the program is not easy to apply. Changing the culture of a company is a very, very time-consuming and a difficult task.

It is normal for people to want change so long as they do not have to change. In order for the program to work, in order for a company to succeed with the Adizes Methodology, the company must be committed to change.

Many times, a president of a company has asked me, “Dr. Adizes, have you ever failed?” I say, “Yes. Not every company succeeds.”

And they ask me, “What is the difference?”

I look them in the eye and say, “You.”

How committed are you? Because people will complain, “It takes too much time,” “It’s too much work,” or “We cannot do it.” Are you going to hold the line? Or not?

Adizes is not just a consulting company. It’s not only a training company either. We are like a coach—we will train and advise you to become an Olympic champion, but you have to work hard. You have to do it, and it’s not going to be easy.

What about it is going to be difficult?

Challenge number one: the program takes time. You cannot hire somebody to do physical exercise for you. That is what is wrong with some big consulting firms—they claim they can do the work for you. You hire them, they write a report, and the job is finished. But is it?

To be a champion you have to show up. “But I don’t have time,” people complain. Then forget Adizes—try a consulting firm, and good luck.

Adizes requires commitment: at a minimum, one to two days a month. If you really don’t have time, then you schedule the Adizes program from one o’clock in the afternoon to ten o’clock at night twice a month.

Challenge number two: you have to reconsider your leadership style, you have to learn to listen. As a first-line supervisor, you tell people what to do— you listen, but not too much. Your mouth is big; your ears are small.

As you ascend the hierarchy of a company, your mouth should become smaller, and your ears should become bigger. A small mouth and big ears. That’s right—you have to listen to what is going on.

You have to listen to the people, to what is going on with them. You are far from the action now, so you must listen to the people on the fighting floor to learn what is happening down there—that is where the roots of the tree are. Watch the roots, not just the leaves.

You might have to change your style. You have to sit in the room and listen to the people and some people are difficult. You must learn how to lead people whose style is different from yours. In the Adizes program for organizational transformation you will learn how to do that.

Adizes also trains you to handle change in the future without our continuous involvement. Our job is to teach you all the tools to manage as a team and then say goodbye, thank you very much. Finished. Adizes organizational therapy is like psychotherapy. You should not depend on your therapist for too long. A good therapist makes sure you are healthy and then says, “Goodbye, you’re done.”

We are proud of every graduating client we lose.

When you finish the Adizes program, you are on your own. You can come to our conventions every year to learn what is new and update yourself. Meanwhile, your company continues to grow.

You get four results from the program:

  • You solve problems.
  • You build a team.
  • You become more knowledgeable of managerial tools.
  • You enrich your managerial style.

If you complete a Syndag, a diagnostic of your company, the first phase in the Adizes Program, you can identify problems which are chronic, problems that are blocking your company’s growth and at the end of the Syndag you will have a plan of action how to solve them successfully.

Because we have the experience of applying this methodology over fifty years and thousands of companies, I can promise you one thing: in the first year of the Adizes program, at least 40% of these chronic problems will disappear. Typically, of the remaining problems, 40% will improve and 20% will not change. In the second year, what only improved will disappear and what did not change will improve. In an average of three years, all the problems you have today should disappear. But, some companies do it faster. It all depends on how committed you, the CEO, are to giving time and energy.

This does not mean that in three years you will have no more problems—you will have bigger problems. You are as big as the problems you are dealing with. Today, you might have problems with quality control, problems with marketing, and problems with hiring the right people. In three years, you will have a bigger problem: how to become an international company. By solving the small problems, you can address the big problems.

I once sent a New Year’s card with wishes for the new year to my clients. I wrote, “I wish you bigger problems next year than this year…that you can solve” Tell me how big the problems you are dealing with are that you are solving, and I will tell you how big you are.

The Adizes Methodology does not only make the company bigger, but it also makes you personally better. People say that it helps their marriage. I have released a new book of mine on how to apply Adizes in family life (The Power of Opposites, available at Adizesbooks.com, or Amazon. So, this methodology is not only a consulting methodology—it’s a philosophy of life.

I welcome you and I hope that you will enjoy the methodology, and you will join us as many, many companies around the world have, learning how to have a better company and better quality of life.

Edited presentation delivered in Austria for Adizes Institute office of Eastern Europe on December 16, 2016.