Tooling for Adaptive Leadership

My blog a few weeks back encouraging you to slide back down the maturity curve and grasp Adaptive Leadership with both hands, has lead me to consider the analysis tools we have available and which would be most useful when looking to be adaptive.

There are a bunch of tools I use regularly. They include Stakeholder Analysis, PESTLE Analysis, Porter’s Industry Five Forces, Unique Value Proposition, Value Chain Analysis and my very own Capability Analysis (templates for most of these are available with examples here). These coupled with risk analysis techniques are very effective for improving decision making. And you should keep on using them now as much as ever.

However, there is one tool that I use that has proven invaluable. And that is Scenario Analysis. Over recent weeks I have had the opportunity to assist a range of clients by facilitating workshops to help them work through various scenarios of where their business could be over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months. Helping them work through good, bad and very bad scenarios, and what the impact could be on their staff, customers, finances and a range of other elements of their business.

No one can predict the future, but we can imagine it. While it would have been extremely difficult to imagine our upturned world sitting in our lounge room a few months ago, many aspects of it were not impossible to predict. It is because of our ability to imagine that epidemiologists warned us of global pandemics (and picked up by the World Economic Forum as one of the world’s top ten risks in 2020 in terms of impact). It is why there was a national stockpile of much needed medical equipment. The irony is that the antivirals don’t work on COVID-19 but we already knew that from SARS.

Scenario analysis is a tool that requires us to imagine a range of scenarios in the future which leads us to make decisions today in preparation for as many variants of the future as your imagination uncovers.

In my recent world, scenario analysis has won hands down when it comes to the most important tool in my tool kit. If you have not used it in a structured manner, I encourage you to do so. It is much more effective than a group of leaders talking and surmising about what might or might not be.

Stay safe and adapt – quickly.