Secret Ingredient (to Deal with VUCA)
“It isn’t the biggest fish eating the smaller fish anymore, but the fastest fish that wins."
- Klaus Schwab, Founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum
The VUCA nature of the business world makes it difficult for companies to compete and survive for long. Strategic plans that plan 5 and 10 years ahead are no longer an essential component of business growth. Strategic plans are too static for the dynamic nature of the business today. Therefore, the secret ingredient to survival is to build an “agile mindset”, which is characterized by the ability to remain flexible and adaptive to change.
Agile was developed by software teams who worked in a flexible environment where change was the norm. They usually work in small teams and over short “sprints” to adapt to those changes more effectively.2
Several definitions have been proposed to define Agility. Some prefer to look at Agility as a methodology. Agility is best known for its manifesto (primarily for software development) where solutions evolve through an iterative, collaborative process. Generally speaking, it is founded on the principles of adaptive planning, evolutionary development and early (and often) delivery with the end user in mind. Agility may also be defined as a system of methods used in a particular area of study. This is the definition usually adopted in textbooks. Most important, agile is suitable only for continual development- type projects where the target is moving, priorities are constantly changing and high functioning collaborative teams are in charge.2
A simple Game of Change!
If you are a manager, gather your team and divide them into two equal groups. Give each team the same number of Lego bricks and ask them to build a certain shape in 25 minutes. By the end of the first 15 minutes change instructions and ask the team to build a different shape, highlighting that you passed the wrong instructions the first time. Now see how each individual reacts with the change and how fast they can adapt and reach results! Try to reflect this activity on the Kubler Ross curve.
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