“May you live in interesting times?” The ancient Chinese are often credited with this blessing which is also a curse. A modern business person might describe the world she observes while reflecting on the present retail situation by saying, “Hey, it’s crazy out there.” No matter how you cut it, or report it, sometimes the world we live in seems helter-skelter or upside down. This is especially so in the contemporary business realm. The traditional ways of thinking, planning, and doing things have been tossed out the window in many cases, and a new world disorder has taken hold. To thrive in this modern business environment one has to face the challenges offered by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Those who don’t acknowledge these significant disruptive factors in their business plans will quite likely stumble and fail. VUCA is an undeniable reality in the modern marketplace.
This disruptive innovation is an undeniable part of the contemporary business scene. Just think of the changes to our world brought on by such developments as: Uber. Airbnb. 3D printing. Artificial Intelligence. Medical innovations. Self-driving or autonomous vehicles. eCommerce. Blockchain technology. Amazon. Alibaba. Robotics. Virtual reality. Renewable energy. Volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity come as part of the package of change orientation when you consider these dynamic developments in the above listed fields, and others.
If you’re struggling with some of the turmoil in the marketplace you’ll find some benefit from the guidance, wisdom, insightful analysis and experience of one of the leading business interpreters in the realm of disruptive innovation, Jim Harris.
Jim is a thought leader and an international keynote speaker of considerable renown. He’s called upon to address about 50 conferences or seminars each year. He’s the respected author of six best-selling books, a trusted business strategist, and a respected futurist. Jim Harris is one of North America’s foremost management consultants and helps clients cope with the instability and confusion caused by the ambiguity, complexity, uncertainty and volatility of today’s marketplace.
Jim Harris is one of the ‘go to’ guys when an industry or organization wants to know what the future will look like. He has a profound understanding of the impact that VUCA is having in a variety of firms or operations. Jim’s been featured in Time Magazine, The Globe and Mail, CBC, BBC, Profit Magazine, Maclean's, and other major publications and networks.
Jim Harris is a top social influencer with more than 265,000 Twitter followers. Top brands and organizations often bring Jim in to encourage and drive on conversations that will be important to the growth or survival of their business in our very competitive and topsy-turvy world.
In 2017 Onalytica named him THE top influencer at the prestigious Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. One of Jim’s most powerful and popular presentations is entitled: “Thriving in the Era of Disruptive Innovation”. Other presentations that have revitalized and refocused many businesses are “Managing Change and Leveraging Creativity” and “Futurist: Trends that Are Changing your Business”.
Mr Harris's clients include Fortune 500 companies, the best companies to work for and the fastest growing. His clients rave about his strategic planning sessions and presentation because they have cutting edge information, his style is down to earth and focuses on trends that will have a dramatic impact on their bottom line. Walmart, the international Cleantech Group, and IBM have all benefited from his expertise and insightful direction. If you’re concerned about VUCA, that is the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity that you find in your changing business environment, you can’t afford to ignore what Jim Harris has to offer.
Peter Drucker, the renowned and respected business guru said: “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence. It is to react with yesterday’s logic.” VUCA offers that turbulence under the guise of ambiguity, complexity, uncertainty and volatility. These four elements are all key players in contemporary society, organizations, and business. Let’s take a closer look at these elements as they were presented by business authors Nathan Bennett and James Lemoine in a recent Harvard Business Review article entitled, “What VUCA Really Means for You”.
• Volatility ~ Your challenge is the unexpected or the unstable and its duration is unknown. But it may be easy to understand and some knowledge about this type of disruption is readily available. Counter this volatility with some slack built into your planning. Be prepared to be agile in your response to the situation. Devote some of your resources to being prepared with extra inventory or specialized staff assigned to anticipate and deal with dramatic changes in your environment.
• Uncertainty ~ Although you lack some of the key information on this challenge, this development’s basic cause and effect may be known. You have anticipated some change but it is not a given. To counter this, invest in information. Collect it. Share it. Invest in information analysis networks to prepare for any anticipated uncertainty.
• Complexity ~ Your situation has many interconnected pieces and variables. You generally have a handle on some of the parts but may be temporarily overwhelmed or stymied by the speed or nature of the changes you face. To gain control again, you may have to restructure and alter direction to achieve your goals. To effectively deal with this disturbance, acquire or train specialists with a broad range of skills and acquire the resources to sort through the complexity of these disturbing developments.
• Ambiguity ~ In this case your causal factors remain unclear. An obvious plan of action to move forward does not present itself immediately. You have not encountered these conditions before and need to come up with a new game plan. You might have to experiment to see what works and to define the issue and a new course of action more clearly. Try generating a new hypothesis and test it. Look for results that can be applied in future situations.
There you have it, a brief synopsis of these four disruptive elements and actions you might take to survive their challenges. This is VUCA as outlined in one of America’s top business publications.
Jim’s success as a keynote speaker, futurist, and internationally acclaimed author puts him in the right place to help your firm or organization not just to survive but to thrive in today’s challenging business environment. He’ll work with you to develop a strategic plan that will guide you through the business and competitive threats you face in operation as presented by VUCA. Jim spends a great deal of time interviewing key people in your organization, and every engagement is thoroughly customized, so it will address your specific challenges, opportunities and competitive pressures. He is pragmatic and thorough.
Working together you’ll come up with a strategic plan that’s practical, doable and measurable. He will facilitate sessions where the group grasps the new challenges and develops a plan of action that inspires and excites the participants. The process garners commitment as it is the group itself that develops the strategy. He’ll present business strategies that will see you through the short term and still be effective over the long haul. Jim’s enthusiasm, clear vision, and ability to connect with people will energize your team.
When confronted with the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of today’s world, you need a steady hand to guide your team or organization through the turbulence that comes with such chaos. Jim Harris has the track record that enables him to provide that leadership and support your need to confront challenges and set a new course if necessary.
Get in touch with Jim at 416.467.6006 or email@example.com at Strategic Advantage. Working with you he’ll determine the best plan of action to address your immediate issues and plan for the long term. Do you want a keynote address on your challenges? Do you want a dynamic insightful speaker to work with your leadership team? Would you best be served by a series of workshops with specific departments? Work with Jim Harris to determine your needs and create a program or event that will best address your specific situation and deal with the effects of VUCA on your firm or organization.
Innovation is a key aspect in dealing with the disruptions in today’s marketplace and for growing your bottom line. But we all know that innovation isn’t easy. Innovation requires insight and a definition of the various factors at play in your world. Innovation requires that you evaluate possibilities and develop strategic plans that will lead you forward. Innovation often needs a jump start and then a steady hand to maintain the momentum of change. For more than 30 years Jim Harris has been working with leading businesses around the world to refine their operations, to stay ahead of market trends, and to increase revenue and profitability. He would be delighted to support you, your team, and your organization and take the next step towards improving your bottom line.
Jim’s reputation for moving companies forward is well founded. Through his writing, his presentations, and his workshops, Jim has worked with the best organizations to make them better. People like him and find his work and approach inspiring.
“Jim’s session was one of the most highly rated and I am certain that we’ll work with him in the future. What was particularly noteworthy was the accessibility and relevance of his material. Jim’s friendly open style is critical in encouraging participants to take the material on board and shift their thinking.” ~ Geoff Merchant, Centre for Management & Policy Studies, UK Cabinet Office
“Harris offers a strikingly insightful and coherent organizational learning strategy for businesses in this rapidly changing world.” ~ Hunter & Lovins, Co-authors of “Natural Capitalism”
“Every day the future keeps coming at us whether we like it or not. Jim Harris provides individuals and organizations with the keys to unlock the right attitude and the mechanism for developing the necessary skills to go out and meet the future with confidence.” ~ Kenneth Clarke, Chairman, Royal LePage
“I choose Jim’s book because it communicates so very clearly not only the key issues we face, but the solutions we need for survival.” ~ Lou Pritchett, former VP of Sales, Procter and Gamble
A dynamic intervention by Jim Harris will allow you to understand the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in your world. He’ll help you contend with the impact that VUCA is having on your sector and show you a successful pathway through these challenging times.