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Thriving in a VUCA world

Submitted by on Tuesday, 19 November 20132 Comments

If you didn’t yet know it, we live in a VUCA world.

‘VUCA’ is an acronym coined, originally, by the US Military and can be described as follows:

· V = Volatility. The speed of change in the world of work creates this factor.

· U = Uncertainty. Less certainty and more surprise create this factor.

· C = Complexity. The multiplicity of forces, people, requirements and regulations all working on each other create this factor, and…

· A = Ambiguity. The lack of clarity and haziness of communication create this factor.

If you feel this new reality and want to thrive in it consistently, we have good news for you…

How to thrive in a VUCA world

VUCAMost programmes at business schools will provide you a drip-by-drip recipe for tackling these factors one by one. We think that is a mistake. Instead, we would like to direct your attention to the master par excellence of VUCA – and tackle the problem as a whole.

The person we are talking of is none other than Steve Jobs. And here are two powerful approaches – plus easy-to-use models – that help you orient your team, business unit and company in a way that blows VUCA away.

Steve Jobs, after all, ran ‘the world’s largest start-up’ – so we believe the disciplines we are introducing are relevant to you no matter the size or type of organisation that you work in. So here goes…

Discipline #1. Work backwards

We’ve seen in a previous video how Steve Jobs corraled his people to work backwards. Backwards from the customer, that is.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of people at work are linear and work forward. This is the equivalent of firing an arrow without looking at the target.

Stephen Covey urged us to begin with the end in mind. This is easily said, but not so easily done. That’s because of the multiplicity of factors described above. So how do we work backwards in a world of moving terrain, people and targets?

We recommend you use our Strategic Thinking Model that enables you to orient your people rapidly among all the factors above.

Discipine #2. Use the Platinum Rule

In ‘The Golden Rule’, we do unto others as we would have done unto ourselves. Makes sense right?

Unfortunately, given the globalisation of the workplace and rapidly shifting sands of customers and their needs, that rule looks increasingly redundant. Inside organisations, we are becoming less and less an effective judge of what customers want or how they want it. And that’s precisely because of VUCA.

Instead, use The Platinum Rule. In The Platinum Rule, we do unto others as they would have done unto themselves.

We’ve touched on this approach in a recent post covering the key factors of client engagement – and this is a great place to start to rid ourselves of the VUCA menace.

But it goes beyond that, and onto an emotional level which is really critical for your team members to understand if you really want to thrive in a VUCA world. We’ll be touching on the key emotional factors in due course so stay tuned by subscribing below.

Next step? Have a look at Client Management Masterclass

In the meantime, if you are interested in getting your work team or company mastering VUCA and managing clients with ease, have a look at our Client Management Masterclass programme which gives you the tools, practices and skills to do just that.

For more details, simply follow the link below…


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