Planning for success in the new VUCA business world

TB-VUCAToday we live in a constant period of uncertainty, fuelled by factors such as globalisation, worldwide economic challenges and climate change, to name but a few. Many organisations and indeed, senior level executives, are struggling to stay afloat and aligned in what is increasingly being referred to as the VUCA nature of today’s global business environment.

Coined in the early 2000’s, this military-derived acronym stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity – terms that reflect our increasingly unstable and rapidly changing business world. The ‘turbulence’ this creates is ever present as we go about our daily jobs, tipping us this way and that as we attempt to navigate a safe passage and make important business decisions.

Constant and evolving influences are putting pressure on decision-makers to act in much shorter timescales than most leaders would like. The ‘interconnectedness’ of business, driven by globalisation, means that something happening in one part of the world can have an immediate impact on organisations elsewhere. An event occurring in one country is instantly reported around the world and stories are accessible via the internet almost in real time. The net result is that there is frequently little or no opportunity for reflection before important decisions need to be made. The challenge of leadership is made more acute by the modern day mantra of ‘doing more with less and quicker,’ which means that outcomes need to be delivered with significantly fewer resources and show a much faster return, than would have been the case in the relatively recent past. Surviving and thriving in this environment demands a different mind-set and new attributes in today’s leaders.

In our latest theme brief, we provide an insight into the implications of a VUCA environment for organisations today and outline the leadership characteristics that will be required to help identify, prepare for and successfully operate in today’s VUCA world.

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