Strategic Agility: Making a Flexible Plan for an Uncertain Future

Baba Prasad, president and CEO of Vivékin Group, talks about how to create a long-term plan when you don't know the long term

Nilofer D'Souza

Baba Prasad is president and CEO of Vivékin Group, and a leading thinker in the area of management strategy and innovation. In this podcast he talks about how to be flexible to respond to an ever-changing environment.  

In part 1, he talks about what CEOs can learn from watching or reading a tragedy. You learn how to be humble, how to handle growth rather than pursuing growth for growth’s sake, and the ability to be inspired and inspire. You can read a related article here.

In part 2, he elaborates on the intelligences framework from his book Nimble: How Intelligences Can Create Agile Companies and Wise Leaders.

Many companies think of agility as just being speedy in their response. But you need to be agile in different ways to handle a changing environment. He describes five kinds of intelligences that help people and organisations do this: analytical, operational, communication, inventive and visionary. You can mix the first four in different ways to respond to a particular situation. And the fifth, visionary, allows you to whet your approach for the long-term impact.

You can read a related article here.

In Part 3, Prasad talks about how to handle a world that is full of inflection points.

We are used to thinking of strategy as a plan for a set of actions to be executed in the future. Instead, he says, think of it as a plan to build a set of flexibilities to handle a range of outcomes that may come upon us in the future.

In Part 4, he talks about how start-ups can use this framework to strategise.

You can map the five agilities and measure them in the company. Strategy is all about reaching the desired set of flexibilities you need compared to the flexibilities you have.

Start-ups are so focused on growth that they grow without thinking. Two, they are always strapped for money. However, it is not difficult or expensive to make the changes to build the desired set of flexibilities. Awareness and introspection are important in this process.


Virtuoso features conversations with a cross-section of veteran entrepreneurs, business strategists and thought leaders from India and abroad

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About the author

Nilofer D'Souza
Nilofer D'Souza


Whenever people ask me "what do you do for a living?" I always quip back saying, "what do I not do?" In my career as a journalist and now at internal communications, I've had the privilege of seeing both sides of the coin: an external and internal environment. I have also moved across various platforms like radio, print, television, the Internet and social media in both environments.

It's been an interesting journey as it has deepened my understanding of what works and how you can leverage the learnings in both to maximize your reach as a storyteller. Ultimately, as a communications professional, there’s no greater high than having your communication effort reach the right audience.

My favourite platform has always been radio, and it is here at Founding Fuel that I will anchor their podcast offering. I will work with the influential contributor network to build out distinctive world-class audio shows. I will also anchor my own show based from my perch in Bangalore.

I have an M.A. degree in audio-visual communication from COMMITS, a mass communication institute in Bangalore and a B.A. degree from Mount Carmel College in Psychology, English and Communicative English.

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