Unlocking the “U” in VUCA


Uncertainty exists in every corner of the world at every given moment. However, when it comes down to the “U” in VUCA, experts specifically refer to the unpredictability of conventionally clear and consistent information. An outlier event like the COVID pandemic causes such uncertainty, where decision-makers can no longer rely on their trusty advisors and accrued data for accurate solutions and effective action. 

Without the proper measures in place, decision-makers will quickly lose their footing while employees rely on erroneous information from external sources. An organisation without a systematic action plan against uncertain situations lacks the perception, staff support, and ability to advance through a precarious position, leading to the company’s ultimate demise. 

Communication at the Core

Times of uncertainty require regular and open communication. On a remote operational level, this translates to frequent employee check-ins, candid discussions shortly before meetings, and the use of intuitive communication tools that support quality discussions. The pandemic has resulted in the normalisation of remote work and home offices. Organisational leaders need to invest time and effort in establishing suitable infrastructure that optimises communication despite the distance. 

Transparency is Key 

Honesty remains the best policy, especially in sustaining an engaged workforce. Employees will seek affirmation and stability during periods of uncertainty, and answers should come directly from within the organisation. Employees kept in the dark may acquire erroneous information from unreliable sources. In fact, the mere act of consulting an external party shows strains in employer-worker relations by demonstrating a lack of confidence. 

Therefore, organisational leaders should always keep employees updated on the company’s latest movements, upcoming industrial challenges and involve workers in the decision-making process where possible. During uncertain times, empowering workers can significantly boost morale, reduce turnover rates, and encourage workers to go the extra mile in their contributions. 

Rally the Team

Uncertainty also calls for a pooling of resources and skills to improve the chances of overcoming novel challenges. Employers should consider a strength-based approach that harmonises their employees talents. Organisational leaders should brainstorm new ways to utilise employee strengths and reactions toward reinforcing team spirit in times of strife. 

Transform Uncertainty into Unity

Organisational leaders can expect anxiety and resistance from workers when facing unpredictability. However, leaders can turn things around by putting employees first before everything else. Through acknowledging difficulties and welcoming feedback, leaders show a genuine sense of interest in guiding employees through the haze. 

A leader can convert the negative forces of doubt into productive energy by being the one who shines a torch into the future. Essentially, organisations need a strong sense of understanding to run at 100%. There is a crucial need to deviate from the paranoia of uncertainty to focus on the known. 

The broader the knowledge, the wider the safety net when uncertainty strikes. By investing in the latest analytical tools and dynamic expertise like competitive intelligence (CI), organisations can stay vigilant and well-prepared for the most taxing scenarios. VUCA environments may instill fear and self-doubt, but once employers eliminate the impossible, anything that remains, however improbable, will be the truth – and solutions will abound. 

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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