The influence of exogenous forces can rapidly change the context within which organisations operate, and the future they can bring. The recent COVID-19 Coronavirus is an example of one such exogenous force. A force that in recent months has dramatically changed the context of millions of people and thousands of organisations across the globe. What’s more, the impact of COVID-19 has been rapid and devastating. Initially identified in Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019 it was characterised as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 11 March 2020.
This blog post is not about COVID-19 or the other pandemics that will undoubtedly hit us in the future. It’s about the importance of leaders understanding the impact that exogenous forces can have on the organisations they lead. By definition, exogenous forces originate from outside the entity they impact, whether that be individuals, businesses, countries or societies. They are not restricted to viruses and include, for example, population dynamics, globalisation, climate change, regulatory controls, trade agreements, talent availability and technological advances.