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LEADERSHIP IN A VUCCA WORLD

VOLATILITY: We live in a world that’s constantly changing, becoming more unstable each day, where changes big and small are becoming more unpredictable – and they’re getting more and more dramatic and happening faster and faster. As events unfold in completely unexpected ways, it’s becoming impossible to determine cause and effect.

UNCERTAINTY: It’s becoming more difficult to anticipate events or predict how they’ll unfold; historical forecasts and past experiences are losing their relevance and are rarely applicable as a basis for predicting the shape of things to come. It’s becoming nearly impossible to plan for investment, development, and growth as it becomes increasingly uncertain where the route is heading.

COMPLEXITY: Our modern world is more complex than ever. What are the reasons? What are the effects? – Problems and their repercussions are more multi-layered, harder to understand. The different layers intermingle, making it impossible to get an overview of how things are related. Decisions are reduced to a tangled mesh of reaction and counter-reaction – and choosing the single correct path is almost impossible.

AMBIGUITY: “One size fits all” and “best practice” have been relegated to yesterday – in today’s world it’s rare for things to be completely clear or precisely determinable. Not everything is black and white – grey is also an option. The demands on modern organisations and management are more contradictory and paradoxical than ever, challenging our personal value systems to the core. In a world where the “what” takes a back seat to the “why?” and the “how?”, making decisions requires courage, awareness, and a willingness to make mistakes.

WHAT DOES VUCA MEAN FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP AND YOUR STRATEGIES?

VISION: Paint a picture of the future you want. Together; as a compass and for orientation; in order to confer meaning and spark motivation – and to forge internal and external identity and effectiveness.

UNDERSTANDING: Understand interconnections; make them transparent. Reflect on the context. Think and plan meta-strategically. Start from the result and work backwards. Harmonise skills. Embrace and exploit behaviours and reactions. Convert anxiety and resistance into productive energy.

CLARITY: Simplicity. Focus on what counts and what it’s really about. Trust, transparent connections and processes. Apply energy and force exactly where they will be most effective.

ADAPTABILITY / AGILITY: Flexibility. Agility. Scrutinise hierarchical management techniques.
Promote a consistent culture for making decisions and accounting for mistakes. Interact transparently with objections. Facilitate innovation & build up resilience.