Whether you’ve heard the acronym or not, VUCA shapes the world in which your business operates. The term was coined by the United States Army in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It stands for an environment that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous.
In a world of rapid technological growth and global pandemics, it is clear that we live in a VUCA world. If your organisation fails to adapt to the ever-changing environment, there can be crucial consequences that may even lead to bankruptcy. A classic case of this is Kodak – a once dominant company that was led to bankruptcy because of its inability to adapt.
The VUCA world does not have to be a bad thing. With the right organisational culture, you can adapt to global changes and gain an edge over your competitors.
Now, it is more important than ever to foster a work culture that sees change as not only necessary but also as beneficial. Likewise, it is important to encourage growth and adaptability, and lead by example.
How To Adapt
So you’ve committed to a strategy of adapting to your changing environment. But where do you start? A good place to start is to build team vision and set goals and objectives around managing change. You must learn to be okay with future uncertainty and treat it like a positive challenge.
Knowledge is power. Invest in competitive intelligence and make sure that you stay up to date with industry news and trends. This will have huge payoffs. It will also help if you review and evaluate performance more regularly. This will allow you to adjust and change strategies early on.
It’s also a good idea to create a response plan to uncertainty. Plan for the unplanned! Play out possible situations that could require the plan to test it out.
Remember – communication is key. You need to make sure that, no matter how complex the situation, everyone should be on the same page. Everyone needs to be able to work together, so promoting collaboration is also essential.
You will have to become comfortable with agility and implementing agile work methods. You could even open an “idea box” and encourage everyone to pitch innovative ideas.
Essentially, you want to create a more engaged organisational culture in everything that you do. Equally important is fostering an accountability culture. Everyone should feel valued for their contributions and feel that they play an important role in the organisation.
While it’s easy to get comfortable doing things a certain way, it’s important to adopt a growth mindset. Even the international CEO of one of the biggest tobacco companies in the world, Philip Morris International, is supporting the ban of cigarettes in the UK and focusing on healthier alternatives.
There is no limit to what you can do to adapt to changing circumstances. While the VUCA world is challenging, it is also exciting. Use these tips to rise to the challenge!
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