Organisational agility

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How can organisations survive in a changing and uncertain world? There is a need for agility and adaptability, and the willingness and ability to think about possible futures – undesired as well as hoped-for – and to consider the consequences.

In this world organisations need a new approach to strategy. The ‘traditional’ 3-year strategic plan, developed in a one-off intensive project then implemented (often only partially) until the next strategic review, is no longer enough in such a volatile and uncertain environment. Strategy has to be more dynamic, more continual, more embedded in the ongoing work of the organisation: people throughout the organisation need to be more comfortable thinking and talking strategically, and the organisation needs to develop the strategic management processes to enable this and the culture to support it.

Strategy is about making sense of where an organisation is going and how it’s going to get there. It’s a journey, on which people embark together to explore and learn: it’s about perspectives, questions and conversations, including the ability to think about possible futures and the willingness to accept the consequent uncertainties and risks. The capability to do this, the processes to enable it and the culture to encourage it are critical elements in organisations adopting a more dynamic approach to strategy.

Strengthening strategic capabilities, and establishing a culture to enable these, are key ‘building blocks’ to organisations adopting a more dynamic, ongoing approach to strategy.

My article about this, “Enigma Machine‘ was published in the January 2022 issue (#207) of The HR Director (issue can be downloaded for a small cost from

The HR Director, January 2022

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