Discover the curious and vibrant space between startups, improv, and disasters.

As cliche as it has become to say that the world is faster-paced and more unpredictable than ever before, many of us – individuals and groups alike – are still overwhelmed and ill-equipped to deal with this new normal. Whether it’s the massive disruption created by new technologies, the turbulent shifts in how interconnected politics and markets behave, or the severe impact of Black Swan events like “one-in-a-hundred-year” super-storms, it’s evident that our systems, enterprises, governments, organizations, and ourselves must find better ways to adapt.

We are more sensitive to the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity that surrounds us. And we’re more vulnerable to the predictions, plans, tools, and hierarchies that remain entrenched in all facets of our lives. Much of what worked before simply doesn’t anymore, and we need to learn how to approach this new age with ingenuity, versatility, and resiliency.

Fortunately, there’s a vanguard – a herd of cats – who have not only figured out how to endure uncertainty but how to thrive in it.

In The Herd of Cats, Steve Hardy sheds light on the dynamic yet disparate worlds inhabited by entrepreneurs, improvisers, and disaster managers. We see and read about these people all of the time – “Facebook acquires WhatsApp for $19B”, “Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host the Golden Globes”, “Emergency responders spring to action in Calgary/Boston/Haiti/Tacloban/anywhere” – and yet how much do we actually know about them? What do they do exactly? What insights can we glean from the high-pressure situations they experience everyday?

Blend together the maxims of startup culture, the principles of an improv mindset, and the hard realities of disaster resilience, and what you’ll find is the very best approach to navigating the rapidly changing world around us. Hardy enthusiastically explores this fascinating intersectional space, profiling each area’s unique stories, philosophies, and best practices, while also illustrating their remarkable similarities and valuable cross-learning.

The Herd of Cats approach

The Herd of Cats is filled with vivid stories, including:

  • How entrepreneurial ideas and frameworks like Lean, Agile, Holacracy, Jobs-to-be-Done, and Blue Ocean Strategy have profoundly shaped fast-growing organizations. Learn how ventures of all sizes in fields as diverse as mobile software, travel, and manufacturing have adopted aggressive experimentation and a quest for antifragility.
  • How improvisational mantras and practices like “Yes, and…”, follow your foot, active listening, trust, and game play aren’t just rewriting the script but replacing it. Learn about the applied improvisation movement and how it’s transferring skills from the stage to the boardroom, classroom, courtroom, yoga studio, and everywhere in between.
  • How situational factors like awareness, preparedness, presence, emergence, response, and resilience are so critical in crises. Learn how a nonprofit is using mobile technology and standby volunteers to help save children, how EMAs are engaging VOSTs to save cities, and how humanitarian aid workers are using play to help save lives.
  • How intersectional learning, design thinking, and creative generalism are powerful perspectives for fostering the curiosity, collaboration, empathy, and imagination so essential for blending and balancing all of these ideas.

Entrepreneurs (and intrapreneurs), improvisers, and disaster managers of all stripes have a lot to teach us about imagination, innovation, organization, leadership, and trust. Be inspired by their stories!

Look for The Herd of Cats in 2017!

This project is made possible through the generous support of RallyEngine.


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