By Tom O’Shea, CMC, Principal.
So, last Friday night was Halloween and all the goblins and the latest craze of cartoon characters (most of whom I no longer recognize) were rampant around the neighborhoods and for several days thereafter on all the social media outlets. My two young grandsons were decked out as the Mario Brothers ready to romp through the neighborhood collecting all sorts of treats and prizes. The most startling Halloween image by far was the one of two five year olds dressed like grandma and grandpa – complete with grey wigs, bifocals, bathrobes and pushing walkers door to door. I could not help thinking about the parody on our times represented by this image … organizations that might be young but feeling feeble; a future constrained by organizational walkers and a lack of nimbleness? What is your image of 2015 … vibrant or feeble? Are you feeling healthy or beginning to recognize greater organizational aches and pains as you try and keep up with the pace of business today?
According to the Corporate Executive Board, 83% of CEO’s still see substantial, disruptive change lying ahead during the next few years. Certainly, 2015 looks to be another year of uncertainty. The mid-term elections happening this week will represent forces of change in some regard. The digital revolution continues to pick up speed propelling many into G-forces of change. Does change represent a world of promise and new possibilities or does it feel full of anxiety from the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity we and others have talking about for the past several years. I think it is time to add another “A” to the VUCA framework and recognize that the VUCA2 includes the toll road of anxiety … the penalty of the human impact from operating in a VUCA environment without the benefit of being an AGILE enterprise.
Our solution – follow the advice from one of our thoughtful clients, the head of science & technology for a global food and beverage industry leader, who sees VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) not just as shorthand describing today’s business context but also as the descriptor for the survival strategy through Vision, Understanding, Clarity and Agility. We might even coin it VUCAGILE where vision, understanding and clarity come together as the organization learns to build capability in the five drivers that build organizational agility by anticipating change, generating confidence, initiating action, liberating thinking and evaluating results. That is the key to making 2015 live out the promise and possibilities and not get paralyzed by the anxiety of VUCA.
Over the next couple of months, organizations and leaders around the world will be shifting their thoughts into preparing for success in 2015. How are you going to help your organization become VUCAGILE? Exploring these five drivers in THE AGILE MODEL® will be a great discussion framework for your strategic retreat or yearend leadership team meeting? Asking each of your key leaders and their teams to explore and begin to understand the texture of these agility drivers will create very meaningful conversation flow around forces that can help build your success and make 2015 and beyond less scary for all your stakeholders! Feel free to use the assessment portal in our Organizational Agility tab to enable your teams to make their self-assessments using our free abbreviated version and bring their feedback reply to your meeting. Organizational Agility Self Assessment We would love to get your feedback on how that worked for you!