Fast-changing periods have always existed in global history however challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic but also climate change or digitalization make us face a more VUCA world than ever before.
The acronomy VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) was developed in the US Army to prepare future generals for their challenging work environment.
- Volatility describes the ups and downs of the markets and the world around us.
- Uncertainty is incapacity to know what is going on and what will happen next.
- Complexity are the numerous interconnected factors that complicate the analysis.
- Ambigutity is the inability to draw clear conclusions from what we know.
Feeling confused or threatened is a normal reaction when facing some or all of these factors. However, successfully survining in a VUCA context is requiring a mindset shift and turning these challenges into opportunities.
- V: Relating back to the concept of Creative Tension, volatility can be overcome by creating a vision and being flexible in the means on how to get there.
- U: Certainty can be increased by developing our understanding of a situation or an actor, while being aware of biases and prejudice.
- C: Clariy in the mission is essential in facing complexity. This also connected to having a vision in the first place.
- A: To face ambiguity you need agility and fitness in your physical body but also in your mental tools.
Based on Bob Johansen & James Euchner (2013) Navigating the VUCA World, Research-Technology Management, 56:1, 10-15