How is this VUCA World affecting you?
I was recently talking with a group of business owners. As we sat around the table and discussed their businesses, I heard about a lot of exciting opportunities and new things happening but at the same time a lot of challenges and frustrations. Many of it caused by globalization, technology advancements, and rapid change. This is the VUCA world we now live in. VUCA stands for volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. It is a term coined by US Army War College as they tried to define and embrace their strategy after the Cold World. However, it is very applicable to today’s world.
As I work with leaders, here are a few observations I have about the VUCA world when it comes to the workforce.
The volatility is causing our jobs to rapidly change. No longer are positions and processes set in stone. They are continually developing. Self-awareness and continual development of skills and competencies is imperative. Workers need to evolve from resisting change to embracing it through agility and an adaptive mindset.
The uncertainty is driving employers and employees to become less loyal to each other. Companies have less tolerance for a strategy or business unit that isn’t producing results and are often quicker to outplace employees for poor performance or misaligned values. On the other hand, with unemployment so low and so many jobs unfilled, employees have more options. They are quicker to leave a bad boss or unhealthy culture. Both sides need to understand the others’ commitment to performance, values, and culture.
The complexity is redefining leadership. As systems have become more complex, the simple linear cause and effect descriptions break down. No longer can one person have all the answers because there are too many variables. Leaders no longer command and control but rather must be able create a context that enables the emergence of the desired outcomes regardless of who or what creates it.
The ambiguity is forcing the acceptance of different perspectives. Because of the rapid changes in our world, there is a lack of models to explain what we are seeing in today’s marketplace. Yes, business analytics are helping but it’s still evolving. Therefore, it’s requiring every leader and worker to take responsibility for the outcomes and look for new interconnections and solutions.
The VUCA world is changing everything. US Navy Admiral and pioneer in computer science, Grace Hopper, states, “The most dangerous phase in the language today is ‘we’ve always done it this way.’”
Some key questions you might ask yourself are:
• How much change is our organization experiencing?
• How do I lead my people through change effectively?
• How do I make sure I have the most capable people?
• How do I set the tone for my team?
• How will my people make or break our expansion into new territories?
Need help in navigating this VUCA world? Rozzi and Associates is here to help. Contact me for a free consultation at email@example.com.
Susan Rozzi is the president of Rozzi and Associates, a leadership and organizational development company helping good leaders become great! Our programs start with the premise that great leadership skills are a product of time, practice and focused development. Our leadership development, emotional intelligence insight and career management programs can be customized to meet your desired outcomes and needs.