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Bruce Holland

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Don't be on the beach watching as the Tsunami comes in

Organisations are operating in an increasingly volatile, uncertain and risky world. Many of the major indicators are getting worse; including carbon dioxide, climate change, water quality, air quality, species extinction, economic returns, failing economies, market fluctuations, and equality.

How bad is it?

Nearly all the following books paint a depressing picture and suggest that the current recession is not like others in the past, where after a period of correction, confidence and growth have returned to normal:

  1. The Great Disruption, by Paul Gilding
  2. The End of Growth - adapting to our new economic reality, by Richard Heinberg
  3. Beyond Civilisation, humanity's next great adventure, by Daniel Quinn
  4. Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed, by Jared Diamond
  5. The Third Chimpanzee - The evolution and future of the human animal, by Jared Diamond
  6. Climate Wars, by Gwynne Dyer
  7. The Transition Timeline - for a local, resilient future by Shaun Chamberlin
  8. The Black Swan, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

These books say this recession is based on something far more serious. For the last decade or so we have been extracting more than the planet can sustain. Today, it would take 1.4 planets to sustain our current extraction rates. If it was a business we'd be running down our capital to maintain our income. This position cannot last.

What to do?

I am more optimistic than most of these books; this is why I have become so involved in the Blue Star Future project; however, I have taken prudent steps to make my business and personal life more resilient.

Whether we are heading for catastrophic failure or just a bad patch, prudent business people should prepare their organisation to be far more resilient. This is the main message in Taleb's book: don't attempt to predict 'black swan' events, but build resilience and robustness against negative ones that occur and be able to exploit positive ones. Black Swan events have a major impact and come as a surprise to people.

The next Strategic Snippet will show ten ways to make your organisation more resilient and robust.

If you accept the possibility of dramatic change, you need to act now. Systems thinking shows there is disproportionate value in acting early. The alternative is to risk being on the beach watching as the tsunami comes in.

If you don't believe the possibility of dramatic change, you will still be more successful through implementing these ten ways, even if we recover as I hope we do.

Regards Bruce.
Bruce Holland
Virtual Group Business Consultants
Phone +6421620456 or Skype Bruce.Holland
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Key words: Leadership, leadership development, leadership management, leadership training, leadership program, leadership skills.

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