By Ben Baran, Ph.D., Agility Analytics Practice Leader
Some types of jobs involve operating in higher levels of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) than others. And one job that’s often in the stratosphere of VUCA is that of the entrepreneur—the person who’s trying to create something new and useful for the world. By definition, entrepreneurs are often doing things that haven’t been done before. To keep a startup going, therefore, the entrepreneur, along with his or her cofounders, must continually sense and respond to the world around them.
Without agility, the startup will die.
Given the centrality of agility as a need within a startup’s team of cofounders, about four months ago we decided it’d be fascinating to watch one grow and develop—in real time.
Through The Strategic Agility Institute, we began covering a particular startup that had just been accepted into The Brandery, a prestigious business accelerator in Cincinnati. The startup—GILD Collective—is the brainchild of three friends who are seeking to disrupt the $29 billion industry of crafting by making it easy for groups of women to host crafting parties.
Each week since mid-June, we’ve covered GILD Collective’s journey through the VUCA world of startups. The cofounding team has answered a survey every week documenting their VUCA as well as a number of aspects related to The Agile Model®. Given such rich data every week, the posts contain quite a few lessons about agility. We invite you to check them out—along with other great posts—on The Strategic Agility Institute’s blog.
Additionally, stay tuned for next month’s update. That one should be particularly interesting, as GILD Collective will finish its tenure at The Brandery on Oct. 7, which is when they will pitch their business to a crowd of potential investors.
Even if you’re not part of a startup, there’s plenty to be learned from startups in how they deal with VUCA. And we invite you to learn with us.