Lately, we have been hearing lots about VUCA environments? It is gaining popularity amongst Agile environments and HR professionals. Do you know for what VUCA stands for? Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous! This term was coined in the 1900’s in the US army. Lots have been saying recently about leading in VUCA environments – and certainly, this Covid-19 pandemic is one.
Let’s have a closer look at this acronym:
Volatility referring to the speed of change in an industry or market in general. It is associated with fluctuations in demand and dynamism of an industry. The more volatile the world is, the faster things change.
Uncertainty refers to the extent to which we can foresee the future. Part of the uncertainty is perceived and associated with people’s inability to understand what is going on. True uncertain environments are those that do not allow any prediction, the more uncertain the world is, the harder it is to predict.
Complexity refers to the number of factors that we need to take into consideration, the different variables and the relationships between them. The more factors more complex an environment is. The more complex the world is, the harder it is to analyse.
Ambiguity refers to a lack of clarity about how to interpret something. A situation is ambiguous, i.e. when information is incomplete, contradicting or too inaccurate to draw clear conclusions. More generally it refers to fuzziness and vagueness, the more ambiguous the world the harder it is to interpret.
5) What does that mean today?
Some of the traits for a Leader to be able to succeed in a VUCA environment are: adaptability, learning attitude, anticipation, positive mindset, prudence, holistic vision and modesty amongst others. In my opinion all of the above.
During the past few years, we have been very worried, too worried in my opinion that will come and cause a digital disruption and technology transformation! We have been looking with lots of attention what the market does, we have been adapting we have all been digitally transforming but isn’t it ironic that the smallest shape and form of life, the microorganism has come to impact the world and all the business from one day to another all around the globe and it’s a virus? Funny how we think we are prepared and have been anticipating but haven’t seen this coming huh?
Fight volatility with a vision, a clear vision, mission and values to support those in your organization. Stop the uncertainty with an understanding, understanding of your needs, your clients, your employees. React to complexity with clarity develop teams what work cross-functionally and communicate clear goals and objectives. Counter ambiguity with agility, ensure your organization is agile – every process and department working in an agile environment.
The world has changed dramatically over the last few years, and we now live in a connected, fast-paced, constant and unpredictable world! Nothing has been more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous to manage than the #Covid-19 crisis. Those who will succeed will be the leaders and companies that have shifted, adapted themselves during the pandemic those that have been preparing themselves for when this is over, those that are already foreseeing the trends and are starting to prepare for those and anticipate those.
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