Building invincibility

What can best represent the quality that an organization must have in order to better deal with an increasingly changing present and uncertain future? Invincible may be a uniting concept. Let’s explore it.


When considering how much we live in an uncertain and much more complex and disruptive world, we wonder what kind of organization is needed to not only survive but thrive. Antifragility is a concept introduced by Nassim Taleb thats exactly describes how an organization gets better with shocks just like an athlete gets better by training harder but through several conversations we thought it we should come up with a better inclusive almost generic word or description.

Alex Osterwalder the creator of the the Business Model Canvas developed along with other authors some ideas on how to build an “invincible” business which seems like the right fit to describe the kind of organization strength that is needed. 

In order to better guide organizations build their invincibility we taught that the following features would very well represented the features of an invincible organization. Since most organizations do their best to defend their core business, we chose to emphasize of that which they don’t seem to do as well or may struggle with, namely:

  1. Focus on creating value for customers
  2. Innovate and improve constantly
  3. Build a strong team
  4. Leverage technology
  5. Embrace change

Let’s see how our 3-point approach can help organizations in achieving “invincibility”.

1. Ambidexterity

Ambidexterity, the ability to simultaneously explore new opportunities while exploiting existing ones. In our vocabulary it means the ability to defend and improve the Core Business Engine by leveraging adjacent and emerging possibilities for example while developing the Future Business Engine.  

When adopting the “ambidextrous” mentality we learn to move from either to “both” and move out of the myopia of short-termism by integrating long-term prospective thinking.

In summary, ambidexterity can help organizations become invincible by enabling them to continuously innovate (point 2 above), balance risk and reward by leveraging new opportunities and technologies (point 4 above), adapt to changes (point 5 above), improve organizational learning, and enhance employee engagement (point 3 above).

As we express it, it means going from the present forward by using present-forward thinking and leading from the future by using future-back or prospective thinking.

Prospective or future-back thinking is the ability to anticipate and prepare for future challenges, opportunities, and trends. By developing a prospective mindset, an organization can gain a strategic advantage over its competitors and first create a resilient business model that can withstand disruptions and uncertainties and then move to thriving from them by becoming antifragile. 

2. Relevance

Relevance for an organization is really about how it focuses on staying relevant in the eye of its customers and it certainly means creating value for customers and creating value for customers is really about what are the Jobs To Be Done (JTBD).

The theory known as the Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) was developed by Clayton Christensen who was a renowned professor and management thinker widely recognized for his work on innovation and disruptive technologies. The theory was built around a central question: 

What is the job a person is hiring a product to do? What is the job to be done?  

If you can solve the mystery of Jobs to Be Done, you can build the kind of products (or services) people love. 

Furthermore, many organizations misunderstand what is a “disruptive innovation” a term coined by professor Christensen who emphasizes that: 

“Disruptive Innovation describes a process by which a product or service initially takes root in simple applications at the bottom of a market—typically by being less expensive and more accessible—and then relentlessly moves upmarket, eventually displacing established competitors”.

Relevance also means leading from the future or figuring out what are the jobs to be done for your customers in the future.

3. Antifragility

Antifragility is a concept introduced by Nassim Taleb, which describes a system’s ability to thrive and grow stronger under stress and uncertainty. In other words, antifragile systems not only withstand disruptions, but they also benefit from them.

Here are a few ways antifragility can help an organization become invincible:

  1. Resilience to shocks and disruptions: Antifragility enables an organization to withstand shocks and disruptions, such as market downturns, economic crises, or other unforeseen events. By being antifragile, an organization can turn these shocks into opportunities to learn, adapt, and grow stronger.
  2. Innovation and experimentation: Antifragile organizations encourage experimentation and innovation, as they are more open to learning from their failures and mistakes. They are not afraid to take calculated risks, as they know that even if something goes wrong, they will come out stronger on the other side.
  3. Continuous learning and improvement: Antifragile organizations prioritize continuous learning and improvement. They are always looking for ways to improve their processes, products, and services, and they view failures and mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow.
  4. Agility and adaptability: Antifragile organizations are agile and adaptable. They are able to respond quickly to changing circumstances and are not bound by rigid structures or processes. They can pivot their strategy and operations as needed, based on new information and feedback. 


In conclusion, ambidexterity really helps organization make the most of the present forward while leading from the future. Relevance or what we like to call the “customer attitude” is really about understanding what job your product and/or service is hired to do and finally how antifragility can help an organization become invincible by building resilience and adaptability in the face of uncertainty and disruption. By embracing failure and experimentation, continuous learning and improvement, and agility and adaptability, an organization can become invincible and thrive and grow stronger in a rapidly changing business environment.

To your success.


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