Thriving in Turbulent Times
The events of the past twenty years have created turbulence in geo-politics, world economies, governments and in most business sectors, and many people are uncertain about how to deal with the changes.  Many government and business leaders are drawing in — afraid of being battered by circumstances over which they have little or no control.  But the successful ones look for possibilities that offer them new opportunities to thrive.  As the poem goes:

One ship sails east and another west with the selfsame winds that blow.
‘Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
Which determine the way they go.

So what are Key Characteristics of organizations that will thrive?   And what will you need to do to develop them?

  • Good Leadership and the Selection of the Right People

Good leaders put the success and wellbeing of the organization ahead of their own ambition.   They are willing to see the real results occur even after they have retired, giving credit to others, yet taking responsibility.

While the ideal is to find leaders with these characteristics, it is possible to train leaders into this new mode – and Applied Futures develops these capabilities in the course of its workshops

  • Willingness to Transform from the Inside Out

Most attempts at transformation have been prodded from the outside. The only successful way of transforming is from the inside out – starting with individuals and changing their mindsets first and then the corporate cultures.

AFI’s interactive workshop approach is designed to change the mindsets of the participants, and change the corporate culture.

  • Flexibility

Most corporate cultures and plans, except in the newer and IT-related industries. are very rigid and hierarchical.  Yet, in the Armed Forces of the United States, they have a saying “No plan survives first contact with the enemy.”   In other words, they expect to need to change.   In this new economy, flexibility will be required.

AFI helps its clients to build flexibility into their strategic plans and processes to enable them to take account of changing conditions, and it provides Client Final Reports in a War Room format that enables the logic trail for all decisions to be seen clearly, so that they can be amended when appropriate.

  • Agility

Agility is the ability to move quickly and decisively. Indeed, it complements flexibility, and is an ideal characteristic if an organization has to change quickly to respond to external circumstances.

Through both its interactive workshops and its master-mind programs, AFI assists its clients to develop both flexibility and agility.

  • People-centered

People are your organization’s greatest asset – you must ensure that you have the right people, and then take care of them. And in putting the success of the organization before individual ambition, good team-work is increasingly important.   In addition, every person in an organization acts as an ambassador – the more every person feels positively about the organization, the better image they will convey.

AFI’s workshop processes for leadership and management are designed to build effective teams as well as to achieve the desired Vision and Planning objectives.  And the processes we use to get the people from the bottom of the organization involved also contribute to building effective teams.

  • Vision and Values

Vision and Values are critical aspects of a strategic plan.   The vision provides the focus and direction for the organization, for the people in it, as well as for external stakeholders.   The more that all employees understand and share the vision, the more likely they are to be inspired to contribute to it.    Values are an important part of developing the culture of the organization.   If organizational values are in conflict with personal values, they can create stress and dissension.

Alignment of individual and organizational values for leadership and management takes place during AFI’s interactive workshops, and we have similar processes for taking the Vision to lower levels in the organization.

  • Ethics

The highly publicized ethics lapses of the last few years have tarnished the perceptions of both corporate and government organizations in the eyes of the general public.

AFI can include ethics in its strategic planning workshops, or can conduct separate workshops on ethics, their implications and implementation.