our thoughts

overcoming organisational fragility
27 June 2013


The world is conspiring to create tough times for organisations. Many of the command and control mechanisms employed to minimise environmental disruptions and maintain steady growth are being shown up as illusions.

In a recent HBR blog post, Make Your Organization Anti-Fragile, Brad Power outlines a key theme for organisations to focus on in order to build flexibility and resilience:

“Crises and major disruptions are not an abrupt departure from what anti-fragile organizations do continuously — solve problems. Rather than being controlled through rigid command structures, employees at all levels are trained every day to be quick problem-solvers.”

This simple statement requires organisational leaders to rethink how they enable employees to take a proactive role in their organisations future. Indeed, the very concept of leadership shifts from one that is based on hierarchical level to one that is based on ‘acts of leadership’ at all levels. This more systemic approach to leading frees people up to take the initiative rather than waiting to be directed.

A radical approach. Maybe. And one that is becoming more necessary in a random world that values autonomy rather than dependence.