I keep hearing leaders talk about the increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in the world. I think we might be missing something...maybe even an important opportunity.
Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous. VUCA. It resonates, doesn’t it? Whether you’re talking about just some schmo like you or me, or a complex organization, things just *feel* VUCA, right? And it’s becoming such a cliché to say that VUCA is the “new” normal. As in, things are more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous than ever before and we better get used to it. Personally, I don’t like either part of that statement: the “more than ever” part or the “we better get used to it” part. First off, for everyone but the most fortunate among us, the world has always been VUCA. When you don’t have enough of what you need, whether it’s money, food, shelter, opportunity, that’s VUCA. Maybe what’s new is that those of us who ARE among the most fortunate now have to think way beyond our own wealth or our quarterly results or the interests of our shareholders. Maybe – as individuals and organizations – we need to stop simply, y’know, extracting from the world and instead spend some time thinking about how to make things sustainably better? Maybe the fact that we may need to thing bigger, longer-term, and with more empathy FEELS like things have become VUCA, but what if…stay with me here…what if it’s just no longer possible to entirely outsource VUCA to those more vulnerable? Political instability? Climate change? Economic uncertainty? Your organization has roles to play – big or small – to de-VUCA-fy the lives of those you’re able to affect. Think about it. I’m pretty sure you instinctively already know it’s true.