Impact of Volatile Times On Change

- Stability is no longer the norm; yet much of organisational development theory is based on stability

- Past success is no guarantee for future success

- Uncertain world with very few definitive answers, ie many shades of grey

- Need to be flexible to handle many "unintended consequences" or "unplanned events"

- Change is a journey, not a destination; it is on-going

- "Business as usual" less likely to be a sustainable option

  • The aim is to survive the "hard times" and be in a suitable shape to thrive once the good times return. This is more than financial. It involves talent management plus identifying suitable markets, reviewing processes, etc. Furthermore, the status quo is under challenge and the world has always emerged very differently after each downturn.
  • Research (David Rhodes et al, 2009) has suggested that organisations whose early responses to an economic downturn are tentative will typically overreact later on. This results in an expensive recovery when the economy recovers
  • Many organisations fail to see the opportunities hidden in an economic downturn. To take advantage of these opportunities, the first priority is to do a thorough but rapid assessment of your vulnerabilities and then move decisively to minimise them. This will position you to seize future sources of competitive advantage, whether from investments in product/services development or transformative acquisitions.


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