AGILITY GOES TO WEST POINT

We are honored this week to travel to the United States Military Academy at West Point with all four of our practice leaders to facilitate the final day of a well know consumer products client’s national sales meeting. Our Team Agility Workshop will be on campus at the iconic and “Historic Thayer Hotel”.

Each of the major service academies do an amazing job of preparing our military leaders to face this increasingly VUCA world. I know most all of you know that acronym (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) and that it was first coined at the US Army War College over ten years ago now.

Each year, the VUCA bar gets higher and more intense – in geo-political military contexts and in everyday commercial endeavors also. The implications for leaders in each sphere are largely the same … how to create clarity for what needs to be done, collective commitment for getting it done along with the awareness of how to build agility into what must be better and faster!

We have been planning this week’s event and its content for about six months now. We conducted a series of key stakeholder interviews, engaged the almost 100 participants in a pre-event survey to capture their perspective about how to make agility a competitive advantage and what their VUCA looks like and designed experiential learning and team development exercises to reinforce the capabilities needed to compete with advantage.

Well, this past Friday, VUCA strikes again … the company announces they are being bought by a major European based competitor. BOOM. Ready or not … here it comes. Actually, this also provides a great example of strategic agility for the acquiring company expanding its US portfolio and mitigating some risk in the face of major EU disruption tipped by the BREXIT turbulence.

So yes – our week will be a little more interesting and YES our client will be facing accelerated transformation. The lesson here is mostly around the question of the decade – are you agile or are you fragile? Agile leaders and organizations understand AND expect change – and therefore are building agile, adaptive and transformative capacity for continuous change. Fragile leaders and organizations are hoping that rampant, accelerating change is an urban myth that relates to others but not them – so no emergency preparedness activity underway.

Our clients are involved in SHAPING THE FUTURE and not RISKING THE FUTURE. Don’t we wish our countries were pursuing a similar value system? Well, that’s a topic for another day and another blog.

Love to get your feedback.