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Mastering Turbulence: The Essential Capabilities of Agile and Resilient Individuals, Teams and Organizations

ISBN: 978-1-118-23955-1
272 pages
July 2012, Jossey-Bass
Mastering Turbulence: The Essential Capabilities of Agile and Resilient Individuals, Teams and Organizations (1118239555) cover image
The essential capabilities organizations need to master turbulent change

Rapid and disruptive change threatens the adaptive capacity of organizations, along with the individuals and teams leading them. Based upon over a decade of global research and consulting, Joseph E. McCann and John W. Selsky outline five capabilities highly agile and resilient systems must possess. They must be: Purposeful, Aware, Action-Oriented, Resourceful, and Networked. In addition the authors illustrate how these capabilities can be assessed across four levels—individuals, teams, organizations, and their business ecosystems.

The goal is to develop these capabilities in tandem so that the individual, team, organization and ecosystem have High AR—not just greater agility or resiliency, but both high agility and high resiliency.

  • The authors outline balanced development strategies for creating High AR that can be used to master turbulent environments for competitive advantage and sustained performance
  • Includes cutting-edge concepts and examples that take readers from the latest advances in neuro-science and executive wellness to global supply chains and innovation strategy
  • Contains illustrative examples and vignettes from leading organizations including Mayo Clinic, Microsoft, Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, TECO Energy, Shell Oil, Walmart, and others

Most important, McCann, and Selsky deliver a unique and practical perspective that helps organization leaders make sense of the dynamic world in which they operate.

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List of Figures, Tables, and Exhibits xi

Foreword xiii

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xxiii

1 Turbulence Crossing the Channel 1

2 The Origins and Consequences of Turbulence 17

3 Not A, Not R—It’s AR 35

4 Being Well and Acting with Purpose 55

5 Building and Sustaining Awareness 85

6 Designing for Action 107

7 Being Resourceful 129

8 Engaged Networking 155

9 Bringing It All Together 175

Appendix: Assessing Agility and Resiliency 197

References 207

Name Index 221

Subject Index 225

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Joseph McCann is an internationally acknowledged scholar, consultant, author, and speaker. He is a former dean and professor of management at three business schools, and serves as executive editor of HR People & Strategy.

John W. Selsky is an associate professor of management at the University of South Florida, Lakeland, Florida. He is a well-published author in the areas of collaborative strategy in turbulent environments and cross-sector partnerships.

Both Drs. McCann and Selsky are graduates of The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

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“McCann and Selsky make the case that mastering turbulence is an ‘ART’—a rich mix of agility, resiliency, and transformability. As resilience becomes the new sustainability, McCann and Selsky lead the way in showing why and how individuals, teams, organizations, and sectors must strike the right balance between being faster and becoming fitter, for instance, by shifting from competitive strategy and fastest growth to collaborative strategies and collective well-being. Mastering Turbulence is a must-read for anyone striving to navigate our hyperconnected world.”—Angela Wilkinson, director, Futures Directorate, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, Oxford University

“Turbulence in flight is the difference between falling and flying. We have come to fear turbulence in our quest to control and make our challenges seem manageable. McCann and Selsky demystify turbulence and gently guide us into a mindset to use it to help our organizations become more resilient, adaptive, and innovative.”—Richard Boyatzis, Distinguished University Professor,
Departments of Psychology, Cognitive Science and Organizational Behavior, Case Western Reserve University; and coauthor of the international best-sellers, Primal Leadership and Resonant Leadership

“This book integrates theory and practice beautifully. The concept of adaptation is linked rigorously to a theory of turbulent environments. The result is practical advice that has the ring of experience and truth.”—Larry Hirschborn, principal, Center for Applied Research (CFAR)

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