VUCA stands for Volatility (volatility), Uncertainty (uncertainty), Complexity (complexity) and Ambiguity (ambiguity). It is a term that serves to describe a scenario of uncertainties and constant changes that we live in the world.
In the Covid-19 pandemic season, our habits were mandatorily changed. The right to come and go, in a way, was tolerated. And we need to adapt.
The scenario is one of uncertainty. The VUCA concept defines the complexity that is our society and everything that involves it.
But despite that, we are human beings and we have only managed to evolve over the years through a unique skill: adaptation.
Therefore, today’s article proposes to be a kind of guide, a content of help and instruction for everyone at this moment. Especially with our working relationships changed.
How to adapt to today’s world of uncertainty? How to have a healthy mind and body? Companies: what do they need to do?
And how can we be productive at work and keep our personal and family relationships up to date?
All of these are issues that, from now on, we will begin to address.
First of all: what is the VUCA world?
As we said, VUCA is a term, of English origin, that addresses 4 main elements: volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
Its origin reminds us of a not-too-distant past: the post-Cold War moment. That is, in the early 1990s.
U.S. Army War College was responsible for creating and using the term to explain the scenario of the time.
The objective was to provide a definition for the moment of intense transformations, which bring about enormous personal and professional challenges.
Especially because, the VUCA world breaks completely through patterns, habits and concepts taken for granted and even immutable until then.
It is common, at such times, that young people are the most affected. After all, the anxiety to set your expectations is quite common.
Therefore, it is important to understand each of the 4 elements that make up this expression well.
It is the speed with which changes occur – and their impacts. So, in a time of pandemic of the new coronavirus, nothing is permanent.
Preferences, habits, concepts, even some leaders. The world is very fluid and, literally overnight, many things can change.
However, these constant changes represent challenges and also opportunities.
And those who can read and understand them are more likely to face and take advantage of the situation.
In such a context, there is no way to sustain a position with many certainties, especially when there is no proven knowledge on a given topic.
For this reason, it is increasingly difficult to predict scenarios based on past events. There is nowhere to extract information and / or practices that are really efficient.
So, for better or worse, nobody knows for sure what will happen tomorrow. It may have a projection close to reality, but the control is no longer in anyone’s hands.
So, as nothing is more predictable, those patterns of success or behavior no longer make sense in the face of the new approach.
You need to be ready, healthy and try to reinvent yourself in many things.
The complexity lies in understanding the result of the interactions of the countless variables that a situation, problem or challenge has.
The answers you used to have for a given topic are now more difficult to find.
In fact, it is wrong (and even a little petulant) to say in those moments that there is only one correct answer.
Several external and internal factors can affect a business. This, therefore, takes a good part of the administrative management from the manager.
The goal is to seek our talents to simplify this complexity, understanding the context and seeking solutions that make sense for the moment experienced.
Most of the situations we live in accept more than one path. After all, because it is so uncertain, the final destination may (or even tend) to be different from the ideal.
So, understand: there is no way to ignore this new way of seeing and facing things. Reality is no longer as transparent and crystalline as it possibly has been.
Answers are neither accurate nor automatic. There is no safer or more reliable source you can drink from.
The truth is that: making a decision in an ambiguous environment is an act of courage. You have a huge chance of making a mistake – but you cannot and will not omit.
Learning comes from attitudes and also from the consequences they bring.
So, be prepared to, in the VUCA world, learn from your mistakes and, if necessary, improve the decision-making process.
What the VUCA world demands of companies
The uncertainties are many. So belief is, to some extent, useless. It’s not about being “it or that ”. Now it’s “this and that ”.
It is increasingly difficult for companies to find consistency in the events to define a solution that is assertive in the moment of a pandemic.
When we are dealing with a situation that we know well, we have security when acting. After all, the experience lived by us, or even by others, gives the way to be followed, right?
We are aware of the predictability of things. We know that, in the next stage, things will be such. And, as they are, we will already have the antidote ready to be applied.
But the VUCA world is not like that. And companies need to understand and be prepared to be able to minimize damage.
Is well. The truth is that the crisis can be seen as a possibility to look at one’s own shadow.
We are who we are, human beings, through our ability throughout history to achieve adaptation.
What do companies have to do at the moment?
Speaking directly and specifically about the coronavirus is: follow the recommendations of the competent bodies.
So, talking about people management, health and general well-being:
You, the manager, should provide the home office for your employees if this is possible.
But moments like this require looking and taking care of the macro. The economic situation is a factor that weighs. Cost management is a factor that will weigh a lot at this time.
It will be necessary to find the financial balance, the so-called break even point. And decisions will need to be made.
Therefore, companies need to:
- Understand your context, financial health and understand the consequences of each issue and action;
- Assess the interdependence of each variable and how it unfolds in events;
- Prepare for tough scenarios, with different and alternative realities and challenges;
- Interpret and address opportunities that inevitably arose in such a scenario.
Despite adaptations and a change in routine, opportunities will arise. So, it’s up to managers, a CEO, to be mindful of that, too – not just the problems you’re experiencing right now.
VUCA world and people’s well-being
There is a concrete effect that each piece of information has on the human being. And the image is more easily absorbed by everyone: its power is great.
When we consume too much image of any theme, a reality is created in us. Everything that we nourish makes reality.
So, consume only information that nourishes fear.
In this pandemic moment, with a lot of information on the same subject, we need to put positive things on our agenda, in our routine.
Here we are not talking about alienating: yes, it is important to maintain the connection with reality.
But let us not forget that there are other dimensions that are also positive and real.
It’s time to:
- With a wide range of eyes, understand that everything you consume at that moment makes you a reality;
- Do not neglect emotional health at this time (read, exercise, talk about other guidelines, etc.).
So answer: how much can you nourish yourself with positive things right now?
VUCA World and personal and professional relationships
Motivation and professional engagement are connected to the external environment, of course. But it has to do with our internal environment.
In the home work environment, it is necessary to have your own space. And also have moments for great concentration, which helps in productivity and not losing focus.
Combine with everyone in your household: what are the priorities for that day? Always make everything clear to everyone in order to have the necessary focus at the right time.
This is the key to correct time management. After all, communication preserves relationships.
Go through everyone’s agenda the day before and agree on how each will behave. Avoid major problems
The unspoken accumulates. At the end of the day, check out.
- What wasn’t cool?
- What’s it?
- what can be improved?
Don’t point out that such a thing bothers you. Express the emotion you felt in that frustration. It is important not to accumulate what we are feeling.
It is healthy for personal and work relationships that, at this moment, are present in a connected way and in real time.
Practical tips for routine
More time together, living with pieces of the reality of that person that we did not see.
Adjustments will be needed to reconcile work and personal life:
- Make clear the responsibilities of each one;
- Casters for the domestic routine not to become heavy and / or dull;
- Establish leisure moments together;
- For those who have children: children will understand if you speak clearly what is happening
- Periodically, it is necessary to have a lighter program to maintain this base
And for those who live alone? It is even more challenging. Especially because the human being is a social being, who interacts and seeks this all the time.
- Videoconference to meet and chat with friends;
- Physical activity;
In addition, of course, all the tips for creating a conducive work environment.
Balance intention with communication. So, if you want to solve a problem, you cannot expose or “play at home” any reality.
So, how can we help you?
If you have any questions about how to deal with the VUCA world at work, speak to a consultant.
Enjoy and read two articles that will help you to be more productive and focus in these times of change.
The first talks about how the 5S methodology eliminates distractions and helps with work.
The second brings motivational phrases for you to follow inspired and motivated daily.
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