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  • Writer's pictureDavid Manning

A Complex World – Is Your Organisation Ready?

The competition between the declining hegemon of the USA and an ambitious China, arguably, challenges the post WW2 Western designed global structure. China is emerging as the US’s economic peer competitor (and is likely to compete militarily in the not-too-distant future) and is offering an Eastern alternative in this emerging multi-polar global environment. The World appears more unstable now than at any time in the last few decades. It is looking very likely that President Xi Jinping will land a third term in office with the commensurate shift towards, as commentators suggest, a more totalitarian regime underpinned by ‘Xi Jinping thought’. Separately, President Putin’s aspiration to roll back post-Cold War history in search of a broader Soviet-style order in Eastern Europe has sent shock waves through the global markets. Putin may have overplayed his hand in Ukraine, but the West must accept some level of culpability for the mixed messages offered during Putin’s previous military endeavours in Georgia, Syria and the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

The global markets are still recovering from COVID19. China is still pursuing a lockdown policy while the rest of the world has learned to live with the virus. That said, the impact of the war, especially with energy supply and prices, and reduction in Chinese output due to large scale lockdowns have all impacted global supply chains driving up costs and increasing uncertainty.

Separately, climate change is having a significant impact globally with more extreme weather patterns and the corresponding loss of life and economic impact of widespread damage to property. Greater population movement through economic migration from developing countries impacted by climate change is also impacting the wider global economy. And the various cultural, religious and ideological differences add to wider population friction as different cultures learn to live with each other.

Against this very macro look at the Globe, instability creates uncertainty, uncertainty creates lack of confidence and a commensurate impact to the global economy. While totalitarian regimes have the advantage of being able to develop Grand Strategy, most diplomacies must cope with the churn of elections and are therefore short-sighted by design. One could also apply the same to business. How many organisations have the time, or experience, to sit and apply thought and intellect to developing strategy in a fast-moving complex world? While strategy is a long-term look ahead with a clear vision and supporting plan, it needs to be acceptable, suitable, feasible, sustainable and most importantly adaptable; especially now.

Does your organisation have a strategy?

Does your strategy reflect reality, or does it need refreshing?

Would your senior leadership team benefit from advice and mentoring through strategy development or re-write?

Are you looking to break into the UK Defence market and struggling to understand the complexity of the organisation and language?

If so, I can help. Email me at

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