The Pendulum Inspired Leadership Programme has the answers for your business
May 06, 2020
VUCA is an acronym for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. It captures the experience of operating in complex environments. Made prevalent by rise of globalisation, information technology and now the global pandemic. Traditional industrial age strategy is not designed by VUCA environments.
Volatility means liability to change rapidly and unpredictability. Complex systems can flip from one state to another very rapidly. In systemically volatile environments change is a constant. Strategy needs to evolve from resisting it to working with it through agility and enabling adaptive capacity.
Uncertainty is the inability to know everything fully. Uncertainty comes from the large number of elements with nonlinear interactions and their capacity to adapt to local events as they co-evolution over time. Within complex environments the future emerges. Outcomes to an emergent process cannot be known beforehand. Strategy shifts from defining one environment in the future that is most probable and creating a single optimal strategy for this to developing organisations that can operate under multiple outcomes by increasing diversity.
Complexity refers to many parts being interconnected and interdependent. Traditionally we try to exclude complexity so as to be centrally control organisations. Managing complexity means giving up traditional conceptions of strategy and leadership. Leaders have to focus on creating the context that enables the emergence of the desired outcomes.
Ambiguity is the quality of being open to more then one interpretation. It results in the haziness of reality and the potential for misreading. When environments become complex simple linear and cause and effect descriptions break down. Ambiguity arises due to this lack of models to explain the observed phenomena. Resolving ambiguity means understanding the context within which the event takes place. It requires systems thinking to see the interconnections, to gain different perspectives in order to build up the full context within which an event can be properly understood. VUCA A Brave New World.
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