Clarifying the “C” in VUCA

The “C” in a VUCA world refers to complexity and involves the multiplex issues that stem from a rapidly changing environment. Organisational leaders need to monitor the interdependencies and challenges faced by various roles within the company. For example, a delay in product release may relate to many factors from multiple roles (i.e., manufacturing defects, miscalculated consumer demand, chaotic logistics). In VUCA, an error does not relate to a single cause and effect, but rather, a chain of consequences. 

Organisational leaders can avoid VUCA complexities by implementing a policy of clarity, rallying individuals with diverse skills and views to develop efficient teams that work well in fast-paced and unpredictable environments. 

Apply Critical Thinking and Agility

Communication is integral in facing a VUCA landscape. However, quality interactions among employees take time and require professional facilitation if necessary. LEGO Serious Play (LSP) provides teams with a unique opportunity to openly discuss strategy and foster critical thinking in a casual and engaging setting. Each LSP session involves a professionally trained facilitator who encourages participants to share their viewpoints through a combination of kinesthetic, visual, and verbal expressions. 

Complexity also requires teams to function with increased agility to tackle complex challenges. Gallup shares that the right mindset and tools are integral in setting up an agile workplace. Organisational leaders can promote agility by providing opportunities (i.e., creative meetings) for employees to express themselves and brainstorm to improve the current system. Under such arrangements, employees should feel safe to try out novel concepts without fear of backlash or judgment. 

Learn and Receive Assistance from Others

If employees lack the confidence or capabilities to resolve a complex issue, leaders can ease stress and tension by hiring an external trainer or organise collaborations with outsourced teams. The current VUCA business environment makes it increasingly practical for companies to seek ad-hoc managed services for cloud security, marketing, and other specialized tasks. 

Companies that opt for the managed services route should maintain optimal communications with external parties to ensure that everyone is on the same page at all times. It is essential to note that while external teams have the experience and expertise to fulfill a task or role, they have minimal to zero knowledge about a company’s culture. As such, miscommunications, clashing work styles, and conflicts may occur, and leaders need to identify and remedy situations swiftly for cost-effective results. 

Peel the Layers – One at a Time 

Ultimately, a complex business sphere comprises layers of challenges involving multiple roles and processes. Organisational leaders can emerge unscathed by providing clarity at every juncture to facilitate interdependencies with minimal error and confusion. A systematic mental map design can help leaders sort out and organise various roles, reactions, and counter-reactions to resolve conflicting demands and ideas. 

The 4th industrial revolution delivered a wide range of technologies that companies can use to their advantage. There’s big data, AI, IoT, blockchain, and other advanced tools that drive digital transformation. Through a robust digital infrastructure and systematic business strategies (where outsourced support is inevitable for growth, development, and scaling), companies can untangle the complex mesh in a VUCA world – peeling one layer at a time and executing the most effective responses. 

A VUCA world presents huge challenges for both leaders and employees, forcing us to be prepared to deal with constant evolution and change. StrengthsAsia has helped many individuals and corporate clients continue to survive and thrive by enabling breakthrough experiences for leaders, teams and organisations. If you wish to learn more about the Strengths Leadership Program, please reach out to us here.

Maalikka is the latest addition to StrengthsAsia’s team of marketing and content extraordinaries. As an avid reader, writer and learner, she’s always on the lookout for new information online or interesting conversations to inspire her. Her other passions include gaming, Netflix and cats.

A devotee at the altar of language and a celebrant of expression. Laurenzo has written for various SMEs, MNCs, startups and international brands over the last three years. He specializes in topics of psychology, lifestyle, employee management, and digital trends.

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