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Strategility - Agile Strategic Planning in the age of VUCA

I have recently been referred to a company that is in a bit of a bind – the war in Ukraine

made the softwood they use for production (normally imported from Russia) extremely expensive and the rise in online sales they saw during COVID seems to have subsided now that high-street shops are open again. This is by no means a rarity – the world is changing so fast and so unpredictably these days that companies must constantly deal with an environment in a flux. Supplies becoming more expensive and demand shifting quickly are common.


Such circumstances are often referred to a VUCA situation - Vulnerability, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. Originally coined in the military world to describe the world post the Cold War this acronym is now often used in the business world.

This reality requires a paradigm shift. If in the past strategic planning was all the rage, with 5 and 10 year plans the norm currently even 3-year plans seem a luxury. Still, without planning the chances of achieving anything are slim, so the answer is in Agile Strategic Planning. When I first came up with this name I thought “Really? No one had thought about it before?” but a Google search found only two references to this exact term. So, I can’t claim to be the first to use it, but this shows how little the concept has gained traction. Those who are familiar with Agile project management will find it almost intuitive to implement. Here are the principles: 1. First figure out what is your ultimate Dream Goal, whatever it may be and whenever it is to be achieved 2. Then focus on what you can do in the next 1-3 years to achieve it 3. Next, define goals for the next 12 months. Review at the end of the year. Assign Scrum masters (leaders) 4. Split these goals to quarterly targets. Review each quarter 5. Finally, create and execute short-terms tasks (Sprints). Review weekly This drilldown and continuous review will ensure that whatever the world throws at you, your plan will always be relevant and well-executed. #strategy #planning #agility #smallbusiness #businessgrowth #blackswan #agile

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