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Situational Awareness is Now at the Front Line of Business

Blog: Jim Sinur

As of this writing, we see unprecedented times, and the sands are shifting all around businesses. While organizations can’t stop the moving sands of interacting situations, savvy organizations keep their strategies in line with adaptable critical success factors. Today all organizations have to deal with a changing brew of external factors while managing their internal network of resources dynamically. All of this as the interactions of these forces emerge. Keeping a solid balance and learning to play offense in challenging times will depend on becoming much better at situational awareness. Situational awareness is being aware of what is happening around you in terms of where you are, where you are supposed to be, and whether anyone or anything around you is a threat to your health and safety. Therefore, situational awareness is becoming a priority business skill, but it includes opportunities too. This awareness must be built and tested before the battles of keeping organizations on course emerge to create muscle memory for proper decisions and actions. Situational awareness is essential for survival at a minimum and a great partner for gaining an advantage.

Looking around us, we can see emerging and morphing external and internal forces playing together to contribute to the challenge of staying on top of situational analysis, significant in-context decisions, and on-point actions. How long to keep up the course with the active strategy and policies is also in the mix. Here are lists of external and internal factors that are active right now. I’m sure you could easily add to these lists, which will shift and change over time to make an appropriate balance more challenging. To complicate matters, organizations must manage their spending, secure talent, and accelerate digital to keep up with current trends. All of these factors are changing at the feet of the executives who must deliver radical productivity and speedy innovation while practicing a boundary-less mindset.

External Factors:

· Persistent Inflation

· Economic Headwinds

· Supply Chain Constraints

· Energy and Food Insecurity

· Pandemic Fatigue

· Climate Crisis

· Shortages

· Cyber Crimes / Ransomware

· Wars / Conflicts

· Social Unrest

Internal Factors:

· Skills Scarcity

· Lack of Experience

· Adaptability

· Keeping Goal Focus

· Flexible KPIs

· Vigilance

· Keen Project Management

· Continuous Improvement

· Lean Operations

· Smart Automation

There are three-time slices that organizations must keep their focus on or suffer from getting blind-sided.


Much of situational analysis focuses on immediate situations. However, organizations must project beyond the current state and try to predict the twists, turns, and combinations of factors that could present a significant threat or an ample opportunity. It is where digital assistance from AI and Analytics combinations can add tremendous value, especially with newer visualization techniques.


Keeping an eye on all the moving parts of “What’s Happening Right Now” is a tremendous challenge for organizations overwhelmed by the tsunami of data, information, and advice coming onboard. Again digital assistance can help by recognizing signals, events, and patterns that the human eye can’t possibly watch.

Post Audit

It is also imperative for organizations to learn about past realities and the “Mach-Testing” of likely scenarios. Analysis of actual situations without the pressure of immediacy is crucial for preparing for future conditions. In addition, this process can create test beds for practicing situational awareness and adaptation.

Net; Net:

Situational awareness must become a competency before time catches up with old-style management practices. An organization’s processes must be as change-proof as possible by staying adaptable. This adaptability must be guided by key insights from all three-time slices supported by both emerging and established digital business infrastructures. Keeping up with changing performance indicators and flexible/smart automation is essential to stay in business. Is it easy to practice strategy changes while to operations and tactics? One thing is for sure. There are methods, tactics, tools, and techniques that can make it easier, faster, and more effective. Some of the blog posts listed in additional reading might help the reader. In addition, a couple of vendors can help with this approach. Wizsm & Tibco.

Additional Reading:

Frictionless Management

Real-Time Fast Boards

Management Cockpits

Real-Time Strategy

Management by Wire

AutoPilot Management
Linking Strategy to Operations Easily

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