Leadership in a VUCA world

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By Maud Lindley

August 25, 2017

To develop their leaders, companies spend millions of dollars in training, psychometric tools, 360 degree studies, professional coaching and other consultants. A recent study has shown that these frameworks, which are relatively traditional, tend to develop managerial skills rather than actually equipping our leaders with the right skills to see their company succeed in a VUCA environment (VUCA is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous). The acronym comes from the military to describe the the chaotic conditions that are encountered on a modern battlefield.

To assess whether you are developing your leadership acumen, these three questions will be helpful:

  • Where are you looking to anticipate the next change to your business model, your industry or market?
  • What is the diversity measure of your network i.e. How wide is the range of perspectives that influence the design of your strategy?
  • Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made you successful in the past?

The first two questions determine your ability to perceive a diversity of opinions and experiences that allow you to constantly identify the disruptors, trends, risks and opportunities that impact your industry, your products, your business model, its positioning, its clients etc …

The third question assesses your ability to innovate and drive change within your business. Your level of resilience, your drive and the strength of your relationships will play a critical role in this phase of influence.

For now, we challenge you to determine the five current trends that will affect the future of your products, your business model, your customers and your sector. What might you regret not having done in two years’ time?

This article was inspired by the research conducted by Rosalind Torres, Managing Partner at BCG.