You are previewing The Light and Fast Organisation.
O'Reilly logo
The Light and Fast Organisation

Book Description

Cut the organisational and operational dead weight to climb higher, faster

The Light and Fast Organisation presents a blueprint for organisations looking to thrive in today's rapidly evolving business landscape. VUCA - Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity - has become the dominant mode of modern business, and leaders are overwhelmed. Competition and instability has increased while barriers to entry have fallen, chronic employee disengagement is on the rise and the global economic recovery is incredibly fragile; business leaders are uncomfortable, with threats to their business looming on all sides. This book proposes an alternative to the VUCA paradigm, one in which we learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, and a model for helping your organisation climb above the fray. Case studies from both business and mountaineering illustrate the benefits and practicalities of becoming light, fast, and agile and underscore the importance of self-awareness and self-reliance in minimising your exposure to risk.

Business and mountaineering share many parallels, including frequent operation outside of the comfort zone. This book shows you the strong skills and effective strategies you need to reach the summit.

  • Get comfortable with discomfort
  • Adopt an 'Alpine Style' approach to business
  • Operate outside of the VUCA paradigm
  • Stretch outside your comfort zone to achieve more, faster

Leaders must accept the current VUCA state and assess their preparedness, but it's possible to move beyond it by ingraining a 'light and fast' approach at the core of their organisations' values and operations. It's only through reaching beyond the 'safe' zone that we learn what we're made of, and build the foundations for successful leadership and teamwork. The Light and Fast Organisation is your practical coach for climbing the mountain, and your guide to the quickest route to the summit.

Table of Contents

  1. About the author
  2. Introduction
    1. Switzerland, February 2008
    2. How did he do it?
    3. What can we learn?
  3. Part I: The landscape
    1. Chapter 1: The perfect storm?
      1. The three forces
      2. Storm outriders
      3. VUCA
      4. How to understand change
    2. Chapter 2: The VUCA world
      1. The three forces
      2. Breaking down VUCA
      3. Black Swans
    3. Chapter 3: The old world
      1. The opposite of VUCA
      2. The Comfort Paradox
      3. The problems with exponentiality
      4. The three symptoms of VUCA
      5. A crafted future?
    4. Chapter 4: How we got so organised
      1. VUCA and the linear organisation
      2. Designed for yesterday
      3. The linear strategy
      4. A temporary fix
      5. The leadership cult
    5. Chapter 5: It's about people
      1. An organisation of <i xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:epub="http://www.idpf.org/2007/ops" xmlns:m="http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML" xmlns:svg="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg">people</i>
  4. Part II: The approaches
    1. Chapter 6: All that is wrong with expedition style
      1. High-altitude organisations
      2. Mountaineering and MBAs?
      3. The wrong type of mountaineering
      4. The origin of expedition style
      5. A desire to control and simplify
    2. Chapter 7: All that is right with alpine style
      1. An enduring partnership
      2. The alpine-style ethos
      3. Why alpine style trumps expedition style
    3. Chapter 8: Making the transformation
      1. The Transformation Model
  5. Part III: The Alpine Style Model
    1. Chapter 9: Three skills
      1. Sensemaking
      2. Decision making
      3. Getting critical
    2. Chapter 10: Three insights
      1. Knowing your strengths
      2. Knowing your weaknesses
      3. Risk attitude
    3. Chapter 11: Three traits
      1. Growth mindset
      2. A commitment to learning
      3. The anti-alpha
    4. Chapter 12: Pulling it all together
      1. Mission
      2. Engagement
      3. Antifragility
      4. Light and fast
  6. With thanks
  7. Index
  8. Advert
  9. EULA