BUSINESS LEADERSHIP IN VUCA WORLD
15th June 2020 | 03:00PM IST
VUCA is an acronym that stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. It was coined by the US Army War College to describe the scenario after the collapse of the USSR in the early 1990s. Suddenly there was no longer One Arch Enemy and the US Military had to devise new ways to seeing, interpreting and reacting to the world. The term became particularly popular in the US Military after the shocking events of 9/11. Soon their Armed forces entered Afghanistan and Iraq and found themselves bogged down in unconventional conflicts where VUCA is in natural abundance.
The business community adopted the phrase when they had their own encounter with unprecedented VUCA chain of events started by the shocking collapse of Lehman brothers. It found resonance with an increasing number of CEOs as we tried to make sense of the constantly changing challenges brought on by politics, economics, society and the environment, even before the current COVID-19 Crisis.
In the past 75 days our own business environment has been majorly defined by these four adjectives. The world has become topsy turvy for many business owners and most are struggling to make sense of it. We can’t allow ourselves to panic or be paralyzed with fear by theses four dreadful horsemen of VUCA. We have to devise means to deal with them and even thrive in the VUCA environment, in spite of them.
The Indian Armed Forces have been operating in VUCA environment for decades, from even before the US Forces. There is a lot that we can learn from the Indian Army about how to operate in such VUCA environment, design effective solutions and successfully execute them to accomplish the mission.
As a Business & Performance Coach, I have always drawn on my experiences and learnings from 25 years of combat leadership roles to coach my clients. In the past couple of months though, I have done this more extensively and frequently, helping my clients pivot quickly to the fast-changing scenarios. The leadership and operational agility that I learned, practiced and internalized as a combat leader are going to be even more relevant in the business environment that is currently unfolding. I am convinced that MSME leaders, in particular, must necessarily graduate to a higher level of leadership and agility in business operations to survive and thrive in future.
So please join me for a webinar on Business Leadership in VUCA environment where I will share practical ideas on running your business successfully and how to thrive in the VUCA environment by actively engaging with its contributing ingredients.
We live in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) world where Leaders and Managers need to be agile and have the right leadership skills to cope with it. The frenetic pace of our environment, brought on by volatility, also creates uncertainty, a lack of clarity that hinders our ability to conceptualize the threats and challenges facing the organizations we lead. It is becoming clear that our comfortable, classic models of leadership do not work in this constantly changing climate.
It is human nature to see every challenge as something similar to what we have encountered before. That is how our brains work; if we had to assess every situation as the novel we would not be as efficient as we need to be. We categorize situations using mental models. Uncertainty becomes increasingly dangerous when we rush to understand it with an over-reliance on what we have witnessed before.
We need to shift from an approach based problem-solving and planning aimed at reducing uncertainty, to a world where progress is made by actively engaging with uncertainty, requiring higher levels of leadership agility. VUCA world demands a distinctive style of leadership. It is important to adopt an active—rather than a defensive—strategy to survive in it.
This is VUCA, the new approach to leading in the modern world which provides us both a danger and an opportunity.
A decorated combat veteran of the Indian Army, Commanded 18 GRENADIERS, the Battalion that captured TIGER HILL, Successfully transited to higher education industry
Certified Business Growth Expert and Coach from World's largest Business Coaching Company. Adding some more feathers to his cap, Col Rahul is Qualified in Electronic, Cyber and Psychological Warfare, Qualified in Media Communication and Management.
Combat Experience, has extensive combat experience in all types of terrains including Siachen Glacier, Line of Control, Thar Desert and the Rann of Kutch.
With the ability to see the larger picture, yet not loose sight of the various components that comprise it and Good exposure to all functions of management allows me to have a balanced sense of issues involved and take considered decision. Simultaneously execute different aspects of the project with diverse team members and stake holders and integrate them, Ability to find and devise means to improve efficiency & effectiveness of systems, processes and resource application.
Col Rahul is passionate about developing effective teams and organizations focused on delivery. He firmly believe that improvements and enhancements are possible across existing models and systems and is keen a student and practitioner of disruption through innovation and out of box thinking.