Retail Realities

Rebuilding economic resiliency as brick and mortar goes to pieces.

For years the Oakland, California, suburb of Pittsburg followed a traditional playbook in its efforts to revitalize its downtown: It tried to lure retailers. First, it focused on trying to replace the JCPenney and Montgomery Ward department stores that closed. That didn’t work out.

What is business agility

Business agility refers to rapid, continuous, and systematic evolutionary adaptation and entrepreneurial innovation directed at gaining and maintaining competitive advantage. Business agility can be sustained by maintaining and adapting the goods and services offered to meet with customer demands, adjusting to the marketplace changes in a business environment, and taking advantage of available human resources.

In a business context, agility is the ability of an organization to rapidly adapt to market and environmental changes in productive and cost-effective ways. An extension of this concept is the agile enterprise, which refers to an organization that uses key principles of complex adaptive systems and complexity science to achieve success. Business agility is the outcome of organizational intelligence.

10 Traits of Highly Agile Companies

June 2021. Gallup. Among all the bad news recently is this positive discovery: German companies are perhaps becoming much more agile.

In fact, Gallup’s Agility Index shows an eight-percentage-point increase — from 9% in 2019 to 17% in 2020 — in German workers who strongly agree their company has the right mindset, tools and processes to respond quickly to business needs.

Can tourism in Germany adapt to climate change? 

September 2021. Deutsche Welle. Before devastating floods swept across western Germany in mid-July, killing 184 people, Germany’s Ahr valley was a popular destination for wine lovers and hikers.

But now, there is little left for tourists to explore: Vineyards have been destroyed, trails and roads have been washed away. It will take years for tourism in the region to recover. The flooding could be a wakeup call for other touristic regions in Germany to adapt to climate change — or suffer the consequences.

Troubled by supply chain woes, German firms diversify and relocate

November 2021. Reuters. More than half of German companies doing business abroad are suffering severe problems in their supply chains or logistics, pushing them to diversify suppliers, shorten delivery routes and even relocate their own production, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The German economy has boomed on the back of globalisation over the past decade. But pandemic-related disruptions in the worldwide network of supply chains that used to turbo-charge its growth engine are now proving a critical weakness.

German Firms Start Adapting to Rapid Changes in Work

November 2022. Yahoo Finance. Ways of working in Germany have entered a state of constant change due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise in digitalization, making digital transformation to improve employee experience increasingly essential, according to a new research report published today by Information Services Group (ISG), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

McNamara on Flexible Response

Robert Strange McNamara (June 9, 1916 – July 6, 2009) was an American business executive and the eighth United States Secretary of Defense, serving from 1961 to 1968 under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

He remains the longest serving Secretary of Defense, having remained in office over seven years. He played a major role in promoting the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War. McNamara was responsible for the institution of systems analysis in public policy, which developed into the discipline known today as policy analysis.

JFK – New Look military strategy

The New Look policy, though initially useful, quickly became obsolete with the introduction of inter-continental delivery systems that undermined the credibility of a deterrence threat. The cornerstone of U.S. and European defense strategy was then threatened as the U.S. could no longer rely on nuclear threats to provide security for it and its allies.

John F. Kennedy won the presidency by claiming that the Republican Party had allowed the U.S. to fall behind the Soviets into a missile gap. Upon entering office Kennedy cited General Maxwell Taylor’s book The Uncertain Trumpet to Congress for its conclusion that massive retaliation left the U.S. with only two choices: defeat on the ground or the resort to the use of nuclear weapons.

Technology had improved since massive retaliation was adopted. Improvements in communication and transportation meant U.S. forces could be deployed more effectively, quickly, and flexibly than before. Advisers persuaded Kennedy that having multiple options would allow the president to apply the appropriate amount of force at the right place without risking escalation or losing alternatives. This would improve credibility for deterrence as the U.S. would now have low-intensity options and therefore would be more likely to use them, rather than massive retaliation’s all-or-nothing options.

Flexible Response was implemented to develop several options across the spectrum of warfare, other than the nuclear option, for quickly dealing with enemy aggression. In addition, the survivability of the retaliatory capability was stressed, leading to the diversification of the strategic force, development of the strategic triad, and half the Strategic Air Command force being put on permanent alert status.

The Kennedy doctrine did not include the ability to fight nuclear wars because of the idea that it would undermine deterrence, was technologically unworkable, would fuel the arms race, and was not politically feasible.

Flexible Response warfare

Flexible Response, also called Flexible Deterrent Options (FDO), U.S. defense strategy in which a wide range of diplomatic, political, economic, and military options are used to deter an enemy attack.

The term flexible response first appeared in U.S. General Maxwell D. Taylor’s book The Uncertain Trumpet (1960), which sharply criticized U.S. national security policy. Initially designed to thwart communist expansion more effectively, the strategy has become a fundamental principle of American military thinking.fare