Managing in a VUCA World

Thriving in Turbulent Times

Business is all about risk taking and managing uncertainties and turbulence.– Gautam Adani, Indian businessman.

The business world has changed dramatically over the last few decades, and we now live in a connected society where change can be fast-paced, constant and unpredictable.

Rapid advances in technology have created an environment where the Internet, smartphones, and social media are ubiquitous, and the 2008 global financial crisis has increased the sense of turbulence, danger and unpredictability in certain areas.

As early as the 1970s, the U.S. stock markets began to struggle, the 1973 oil crisis caused a recession, and personal computing started to become mainstream. A state of flux replaced the sense of certainty, stability and familiarity that people were used to. This type of environment can be described using the "VUCA" acronym, which stands for "Volatile," "Uncertain," "Complex," and "Ambiguous."

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In this article, we'll explore what VUCA means in more detail, and we'll look at how you can prepare for and deal with each of its elements, so that you can manage successfully in an unpredictable business world.

What Is VUCA?

The United States Army War College was one of the first organizations to use the VUCA acronym, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Military planners were worried about the radically different and unfamiliar international security environment that had emerged, so they used VUCA to describe it. VUCA stands for:...

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