Summary of The Light and Fast Organisation

A New Way of Dealing with Uncertainty

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The Light and Fast Organisation book summary
To deal with the VUCA world, apply the “alpine style” to your organization.


9 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style


Consultant and mountaineer Patrick Hollingworth’s compact book will win your attention. He explores “alpine style” mountaineering and relates its important lessons to managing your organization. Hollingworth shows how mountain climbers can inspire you when you have to deal with “black swans” and “volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity” (VUCA) situations. He encourages you to embrace complexity and ambiguity as a way to develop your leadership abilities. getAbstract recommends Hollingworth’s mountain-meets-business manifesto to current and aspiring leaders who dare to challenge the status quo so they can thrive in the 21st century.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What strategies your organization can apply to handle “volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity” (VUCA);
  • How “expedition style” and “alpine style” mountaineering lead to different outcomes; and
  • What strategies will help you apply the “Alpine Style Model” to your business.


Nordwand – German for “north face” – is a two-kilometer vertical rock and ice stretch of Switzerland’s Eiger Mountain, which is famous for its inaccessibility and for the high death toll among those who attempt to climb it. At least 64 people have died on the Nordwand. ...
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About the Author

An experienced mountaineer who climbed Everest and other 8,000-meter peaks using the alpine-style approach, Patrick Hollingworth is a long-time business consultant who helps individuals, teams and companies deal with the VUCA world.

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    Peter Yarrow 2 months ago
    Wasn't sure at first but worth persevering. Some important lessons about becoming more adaptable and focusing less on the overall goal, and more on learning and flexing during the journey.
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    Victoria Littlefield 3 months ago
    Yet another disappointing book from getabstract. Often we see business and leadership books written by sports coaches. Guessing this author is into mountaineering. Other than the metaphor of mountaineering, there isn't much new in here about leadership or organizational development. Stick with the classics from people who actually run and study organizations.
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      Patrick Hollingworth 2 months ago
      Hey Victoria, it's Patrick here, the author of the book. Perhaps have a read of the book before criticising it, as you make some pretty false assumptions in your comment above. Yes, I am a mountaineer, but I've also got 20 years of experience as a business consultant (both externally to organisations and internally within them), I studied psychology and anthropology at university, and I continue to study with the consulting work that I do. Whilst the classics are great, it can't hurt to also consider fresher viewpoints on the ways in which organisations can get better. God knows that now more than ever before, at this crucial point in human history, the world needs our organisations to get better. Wishing you all the best.
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    Duncan Parkes 3 months ago
    A pot pourri of other people's books mixed with the authors hobby. Nothing new but may appeal to people in the business world who are outdoorsy types.

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Contained in Knowledge Pack:

  • Knowledge Pack
    How to manage your business in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.

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