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How vigilant leaders prepare for a turbulent future

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 24 December 2020

Issue publication date: 20 March 2021




When the Covid-19 pandemic struck some organizations were more vigilant and better prepared to absorb the shock and are emerging stronger. This article describes the best practices of these vigilant organizations that enabled them to be more adept at anticipating whatever surprises are coming next.


The article describes the four ways that vigilant firms are distinguished from their under-performing vulnerable rivals.


Vigilant firms practice: A strong commitment to processes that promote vigilance. 10;9;They invest in foresight activities. They deploy flexible and adaptive strategy-making processes. They coordinate and share information across organizational silos.

Practical implications

Vigilance is rewarded when an organization is able to move faster than rivals once the ambiguities shrouding the weak signals of potential threats or nascent opportunities are clarified.


The practices of the vigilant organizations enable them to be more adept at anticipating whatever surprises are coming next, a crucial capability in the current and post-covid era.


Day, G.S. and Kruse, K. (2021), "How vigilant leaders prepare for a turbulent future", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 49 No. 1, pp. 32-37.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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