Preemptive Action — Drone Mindset™

Agility Consulting |

By Nick Horney, Ph.D., Leadership Agility Practice Leader 

nick0may2One of my earlier blogs addressed the concept of VUCA Masters and how taking preemptive action can be the difference between life and death for Navy SEALs or the survival of a company challenged by a very turbulent business environment.  Navy SEALs have applied technology to enable them to anticipate change and initiate action through the use of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) more commonly known as drones. Drones are used in situations to help those on the ground anticipate change in locations that are over the horizon or around the corner.  How can companies create a culture that reflects a Drone Mindset™ — one that encourages employees to anticipate change based on trends and patterns in their work environment?  First, let’s take a quick look at the basics of applying drone technology.

nick-may3In order to take flight, drones require a controller, something the pilot uses to launch, land, and navigate. Controllers can take many forms, from gamepad-like controllers to smartphones and tablets. Regardless of how they look, controllers need to communicate with the drone, and typically do that using radio waves. To communicate with their aircraft, many drone controllers use Wi-Fi, which can be transmitted on a 2.4 gigahertz spectrum, and is something that smartphones and tablets can tap into without any accessories.

Drone Expert.  I had the opportunity to meet with a former Navy SEAL, Doug Moulton, who founded Charlotte Aerial Solutions about a year ago.  He was able to apply his knowledge and experience using drones as a member of the SEALs, to his start-up company that provides professional drone services.  

The application of drones in the business world is varied — oil and gas for inspections; power, line and utility companies for inspection; and mining companies for surveying and mapping. According to Doug Moulton, “infrared inspections can identify electrical components that are defective before system failure which not only keeps people safe, but increases the bottom line.”  This is a direct application of how drones can be used to help provide the right data to help companies anticipate change.
Developing a Drone Mindset™ will create a company culture that encourages employees to anticipate changes in their work environment (e.g., customer changes in expectations, supplier’s new procedures for replacement materials, talent mix shifts to support an expanding global market, digital disruption that requires a shift in core business processes, etc.). 

AgileModel2015_transparent1The Agile Model® offers a unique roadmap to building a Drone Mindset — focused, fast, and flexible, with continuously adaptable people, processes, and technology. This framework will build a culture that encourages preemptive action and continually monitors, anticipates, and adjusts to trends so that the organization not only survives but thrives. This type of agility doesn’t happen by chance, it must be “designed in.”  The secret sauce of a Drone Mindsetis represented by the five main drivers of The Agile Model®:

1. Anticipate Change – Interpret the potential impact of business turbulence and trends along with the implications to the enterprise.
2. Generate Confidence – Create an atmosphere of confidence and engagement of all associates into effective and collaborative teams.
3. Initiate Action – Provide the fuel and the systems to make things happen proactively and responsively at all levels of the organization.
4. Liberate Thinking – Create the climate and conditions for fresh solutions by empowering, encouraging and teaching others to be innovative.
5. Evaluate Results – Keeping the focus and managing the knowledge to learn and improve from actions.

I would look forward to discussing how the application of a Drone Mindsetwould complement your talent development portfolio, your executive coaching process or your organizational culture development. 

About Nick Horney

Nick Horney, Ph.D. is the Agility Doc and Founder of Agility Consulting & Training. He first discovered the value of agility during his 23 years of service as a Special Operations naval officer responsible for diving and explosive ordnance disposal teams. In these rapidly unfolding and changing circumstances–and now, as an organizational psychologist–Nick discovered that the key ingredient separating good leaders from great leaders is agility. Learn more about Nick at


nickhorneyNick Horney, Ph.D. 

Leadership Agility Practice Leader



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