We live in a VUCA* (voo-cah) world. Leaders must be prepared to lead well through a V-volatile, U-uncertain, C-complex and A-ambiguous world.
There is a model of change that talks about freezing (current state), unfreezing (a change) and refreezing (the future state.) Unfortunately we live in a world that is slushy; there is no time to fully incorporate a single change before the next one comes along.
Leadership in the slushy VUCA world requires:
- – Agility – in an ambiguous world you must be flexible, quick and nimble. Your organization must be agile as well. Leaders who recognize the need for agility are building change capability into their organization so they can rapidly and efficiently adapt to change.
- – Continuous Improvement – as Marshall Goldsmith said, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.” That means you must be willing to learn, grow and replace bad habits with successful habits. You can’t be satisfied with the status quo because it does not exist.
- – Clarity – this is a critical capability as organizational life becomes more and more complex. Leaders must be able to see through the complexity to discern where to go and what to do. Clarity in leadership requires courage and conviction to share a vision and stick with it. A leader must be flexible on how but steady on “what.”
- – Resilience – the ability to recover from adversity, setback or a change in the VUCA world. Stay tuned for next week’s tip where we’ll explore the keys to resilience.
As you lead in the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world take note of your personal strengths and align them with the requirements for the future. Build skill where needed and supplement your leadership team with others who are agile and resilient.
* VUCA – from Bob Johansen’s work at the Institute for the Future