This week’s focus: In the space of a couple of weeks News Corporation’s bid for BSkyB has gone from a near certainty to being taken off the table. In the meantime, the company’s most popular paper has been withdrawn from the market. Meanwhile, BMW has increased its profit forecast for the year, but is struggling to keep up with unprecedented demand for its cars in China.

The point is that no matter how hard you plan, you can’t control the future (or, as military leaders put it, no plan survives contact with the enemy). It is more important to be open to opportunities as they arise, and then to respond with pace and impact, than it is to have concrete, set-in-stone and rigid plans. Flexibility and agility are the key organisational capabilities for success. How flexible and agile is your organisation?

Off the record: Something Changed by Pulp

When we woke up that morning, we had no way of knowing

That in a matter of hours we’d change the way we were going

Where would I be now if we’d never met?

Would I be singing this song to someone else instead?

I don’t know, but like you said

Something changed

© Stuart Cross 2011. All rights reserved.