OCEANSIDE, CA, July 27 / PRNewswire / Today’s leaders are now strapped into a world in which the need for transformation in the leadership of organizations is an absolute necessity to match the level of change happening in competitive, consumer, customer, and workforce environments.
“The daunting, ever-increasing speed of change is rapidly altering the relatively simple environment of the late 20th century into a world of exponentially increasing turbulence,” says Nick Horney, coauthor of the book Focused, Fast & Flexible: Creating Agility Advantage in a VUCA World (Indie Books International, 2015). “Being successful in this environment requires a transformation in how an organization operates, in how it thinks about itself, and in how it is led.”
In the 1990s, social scientists working with the U.S. Army War College recognized the ongoing chaos happening around the world and the implications for their mission of preparing our military leaders to understand and lead in this context. They coined the acronym VUCA as a shorthand way of referring to this environment: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous.
“After the tragedy of September 11, the college informally changed its name to VUCA University, signaling its realization that these were going to be long-term descriptors for the future realities that military leaders would face for some time to come,” says Tom O’Shea, the books coauthor. “Since that time, VUCA has become increasingly well-known and adopted as the descriptor for the challenging internal and external environments that all organizations face today and will face with even greater intensity in the future.”
Each of the VUCA factors contributes significantly to the turbo turbulence in the operating context for leaders. Corporate leaders face the VUCA world every day.
“Confident, agile organizations and leaders need to be skillful guides able to convert the external negative energy into positive internal energy cascading down through the organization creating confidence and success by becoming more focused, fast and flexible,” says Horney.
The frenzy of innovation is the hallmark of the 21st century, a century driven by the continuing digital revolution, rapidly expanding interconnectivity and intensifying global competition with radically evolving consumer expectations and dynamics. The book contends an era of turbo turbulence is upon us, with increasingly vexing turmoil coming at us at increasing speed.
O’Shea says “There are two fundamental questions that leave survival hanging in the balance: How will organizations deal with such an environment? What will be the impact dynamic on your enterprise and how will you respond as a leader?” The clear answer, contends the book, is that you and your organization must become agile—focused, fast, and flexible—where people, processes, and technology continuously adapt to changing conditions.
“This capability will enable you to continually anticipate, monitor, and adjust to trends and the new dynamics, so you and your enterprise not only survive but thrive,” says Horney. “There is a rapidly growing understanding by CEOs and senior leaders around the globe regarding the need for organizational agility, and many leaders have already attempted to promote it in their organizations in some form or fashion.”
Authors Horney and O’Shea offer a widely acclaimed best-practices approach built around their trademarked The Agile Model developed in the course of more than 15 years of study working with dozens of organizations and thousands of leaders. This research-based “next practice” model frames the essential drivers of organizational agility, identifies the processes that enable each driver, and clarifies the domains and potential outcomes of a serious effort to become agile.
Horney founded Agility Consulting and Training in 2001 and has combined his background as a psychologist, consultant and former Navy Officer in Special Operations to be recognized for innovations in the fields of leadership development and change management.
O’Shea, co-owner of Agility Consulting and Training, has over two decades experience at industry- leading companies in fast paced, multi-channel branded consumer products.