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10 Ways to 'Budget' for Agility in 2017
By Mike Richardson, Team Agility Practice Leader

In this age of widespread disruption, your organization needs to meet two key goals: One, you need to constantly scan the horizon for disruptive forces. Two, you need to budget for agility, because it's key to managing disruption - and it doesn't come freely.

Last month, in my blog post  Fend off Disruptive Outside Factors with Business Agility , I mentioned that The VUCA Report* can help you and your team remain aware of four disruptive forces that are active in the world today: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity. As an ongoing study of disruptive trends and agile solutions, The VUCA Report tracks 35 disruptive trends - and counting. It also identifies 15 agile capacities required to survive and thrive, and curates best practices in agility. For a summary of the latest version of The VUCA Report, check out this  Slideshare  from my colleague, Dr. Ben Baran.

In this age of widespread disruption, your organization needs to meet two key goals: One, you need to constantly scan the horizon for disruptive forces. Two, you need to budget for agility, because it's key to managing disruption - and it doesn't come freely.

Based on this and other studies, click below for 10 ways to budget for agility and prepare for disruption in 2017.
*Participate in  The VUCA Report and you will immediately receive the full version of the current report and all future reports. Note: if you use a consistent GROUP CODE (for your Vistage/TEC Group for instance) and/or ORGANIZATION NAME (for your management team/all-employees to participate for instance) and let us know when you are done, we will send you segmented report comparing you with the average.

By Tom O'Shea, CMC, Organizational Agility Practice Leader


I bet many of you have some version of "simplifying your life" somewhere in your 2017 resolutions list ... I know  I do. Complexity continues to grow exponentially in all walks of life and has been a mega-trend for some time.  Combined with the rampant acceleration in the pace of everything, this complexity leads to a daunting sense of anxiety and occasional panic for many.  As we start this new year, it is a good time to stop, reflect and attempt to rebalance your scales.
At the start of every year,  I love looking back over the legendary singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie's New Year Resolutions from back in 1943.   I shared them in one of my blogs a couple years ago ... but think they are worth repeating.  I love how Woody gets down to the real basics in life ... like "stay glad" or "learn people better" as he attempts to rebalance his scales.

One Resolution to Rule Them All
By Ben Baran, Ph.D. , Agility Analytics Practice Leader

Change is hard. And even though you're the one person over whose behavior you theoretically should have the most control, changing yourself is often exceedingly difficult. 

Nonetheless, many of us doggedly pursue self-betterment. We set goals, hoping that we'll achieve them along with whatever benefits they bring. We fantasize about the possibility of becoming someone closer to our idealized version of ourselves. 

And during late December, many of us set resolutions for the next year. 

Yet time and time again, most of us find our resolutions quickly broken. If you need evidence of this, simply go to any fitness center for a few days in early January and take note of how many people are there. Then, go back in early February. The crowds will almost always be gone. 

There's one resolution, though, that can rule them all. It's one that I've found helpful when trying to change myself in a small way. 

That resolution is simply this: Pick one new good habit and stick to it no matter what. Make yourself a slave to it.   

The 5 Characteristics of VUCA Masters™
by Nick Horney, Ph.D., Leadership Agility Practice Leader

The dynamic and fast-changing nature of our world today is best described by VUCA, a term coined by the US Army War College. VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. The 5 Characteristics of VUCA Masters™is the result of serving 23 years as a Navy Special Operations Officer combined with my research as a psychologist studying the agility characteristics of high-performing leaders, teams and organizations. This research and experience resulted in The AGILE Model® which is illustrated here:

  1. Anticipate Change: Interpret the potential impact of business turbulence and trends along with the implications to the enterprise.
  2. Generate Confidence: Create a culture of confidence and engagement of all associates into effective and collaborative teams.
  3. Initiate Action: Provide the fuel and the systems to make things happen proactively and responsively ... at all levels of the organization.
  4. Liberate Thinking: Create the climate and conditions for fresh solutions by empowering, encouraging and teaching others to be innovative.
  5. Evaluate Results: Keeping the focus and managing the knowledge to learn and improve from actions

Agility Consulting Affiliate Corner: Tom Marin

Tom Marin, President of MarketCues, Inc.

I tried very hard three different times to join the ranks of the employee rolls. First as a high school teacher in my hometown where I was raised, Homewood, Illinois. Second as an executive at an integrated marketing firm in Chicago and then later as one of the vice presidents at a publishing firm in Orlando. In all three cases I was praised for excelling in my assigned area but there was always something that gnawed at me from the day I started until the day I left. I think it had more to do with who I was than what I was able to do, which is at the core of what motivates all of us to get up every day and do something great.

In-between my employment at the marketing firm and the publishing house I ran my own marketing firm for 20 years in Chicago. It was a successful mid-size firm that won national creative awards and was respected by those agencies we competed for business each day. That 20 years proved to be my happiest treasured moments where I learned from the likes of Aaron Buchman, our creative director who taught me how to tell the difference between a great idea and a lousy one. Or Don Osyp, our art director who taught me how important less was than more. And of course clients such as Rand McNally, Fujifilm, First of America Bank, and many more who taught me the value of value. To them I owe a debt of gratitude because taken together it gave me a barometer from which to judge everything else.

Dr. Robert Prescott
Managing Director, Agility Consulting Affiliates                                              
Mobile -- (706) 416-9291

Creating Agility in a VUCA World!


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