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© 2024 N. Dean Meyer and Associates Inc.
Excerpt from www.NDMA.COM, © 2024 N. Dean Meyer and Associates Inc.

Speech Abstract: Agility in a VUCA World

how to design an organization that can prosper in a volatile world

Speech Abstract

I love driving twisty scenic roads. But only in a fun car that has ample horsepower and great handling. In a cumbersome car, driving that mountain road is work and I'm slow.

Have you ever felt that your organization is on a twisty mountain road in a volatile world, and that it just doesn't have the horsepower or the handling (agility) it needs? Everything you attempt seems like it's too hard, and things happen too slowly.

Horsepower is not just money. It's maximizing the capabilities of staff in every function, at every level. That occurs through specialization (not little teams of generalists who can't possibly compete). And horsepower depends on continual innovation in every group, everywhere, embodying an entrepreneurial spirit.

Agility is the ability to quickly recombine the organization's talents and capabilities to address rapidly changing challenges, opportunities, and strategies. These days, agility is the key to survival, even in traditionally stable industries.

Organizational horsepower and agility are a function of the design of your organizational operating model.

For example, independent silos (fixed multidisciplinary groups) are the antithesis of both horsepower and agility. Organizations need to be able to form teams quickly, drawing the right talent (specialists) and capabilities (products and services) from anywhere in the organization for each unique initiative.

And to perform well, those teams need clear accountabilities for results at every level (the entire project, and each subcomponent within it).

Resource-governance processes are also critical. If budgets are based on prior years' spending, it's hard to shift scare resources to where they're most needed. And then when priorities are set by each manager (within their budgets), teamwork is difficult. If your highest priority is my lowest, you're not going to get much help from me!

This presentation shares a vision of a highly agile, entrepreneurial organizational design. And it describes the five systems that add up to your organizational operating model, and explains how to implement an agile, high-performing organization through a vision-based transformation.

100-word version....

Speech Abstract: Agility in a VUCA World

50-word version....

Speech Abstract: Agility in a VUCA World


  • The challenge of a VUCA world

  • Organizational horsepower

  • Organizational agility

  • Vision of an agile, entrepreneurial organization

  • Implementation: The five organizational systems

  • Organizational strategy


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