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COVID-19 AND VUCA LEADERSHIP 2.0

COVID-19 AND VUCA LEADERSHIP 2.0

 

By 2020, there is no uncertainty that we will have entered a VUCA world. The term was coined by the United States military and has since expanded throughout the industry and popular culture. Since then, several businesses and other organizations have used the VUCA concept to shape their leadership and strategy. It is defined by the letters V, U, C, and A. V means vision, U means understanding, C means courage, and A means adaptability. Each VUCA feature has a rich context, which contributes to the strategic relevance of VUCA foresight and intuition and group and individual behavior in organizations. The VUCA world depicts the world at risk; in light of the dominating environment’s significant changes on economic, political, social, and technical sides, the COVID 19 pandemic has emerged as a great illustration of a VUCA environment. And it is very clear that to thrive in this environment, we must embrace VUCA leadership 2.0. To compete in the VUCA environment, leaders must possess a leader’s mindset that is effective in all four domains. In addition, they must learn to sustain themselves in this VUCA environment, regardless of whether they are the CEO of an organization, the head of a department, or the household leader. They are the only ones who will survive if they are this type of leader; else, they will merely wait for the old days to return. All four VUCA traits are the issues we experience as a result of the coronavirus. Therefore, we can say that COVID-19 is another fancy term for the VUCA world. Let’s take a look at the possibilities of this statement.

 

    VUCA WORLD COVID-19
1 Volatility refers to how quickly circumstances will change in a given situation. For example, in a volatile economy, commodity prices can increase or decline significantly within a brief time, and the pattern can abruptly reverse. Every day a new change occurs due to COVID-19; unstable lockdown; increased rate of death; market shift.
2 Uncertainty means the absence of predictability, the possibility of suspense, and the knowledge and comprehension of problems and events. Nobody can foresee whether the epidemic outbreak will stop or whether a proper cure or vaccines will be commonly accessible for all.
3  Complexity Entails a myriad of challenges and variables, some of which might be elaborately linked The pandemic has a dynamic impact on all facets of life, including health care, industry, the economy, and social life.
4 Ambiguity It is the vagueness of facts, the possibility of misinterpretations, the lost explanations of conditions, uncertainty about cause and effect. There is a shortage of “best practises” for organisations to deal with the increasing social strain on the epidemic.

 

What is VUCA Leadership 2.0?

“VUCA is a never-ending reality that every organization must tackle to succeed. To address the VUCA environment, a VUCA leadership 2.0 approach is required. A VUCA world calls for corporate transformational leaders. Business executives have to negotiate new grounds at a period of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. It may be the key to the company’s survival or their company’s doom. For example, the unemployment crisis due to outbreak is unlike anything that we have ever experienced. Due to job loss, consumers will think twice about buying things that are not essential. When things are tough for the company, it’s a chance to evaluate new company models, and only VUCA leadership 2.0 can make it possible to take it to the execution level. The essential elements that industry leaders must have to survive in the VUCA world are the ability to operate depending on the four criteria listed below.

VOTALITY = VISION

 

In terms of vision, you must admit that you will be living in a world of uncertainty due to an unpredictable future. Still, you do not have to cease forecasting your vision while living in this situation of uncertainty. Instead, while experiencing these crises, look for opportunities to set objectives for the next several years. Now, keeping with all of the complexity in mind, establish a mission and vision instead of hoping the return of the good old days or giving up and making no roadmap due to uncertainty. None of those approaches is considered sensible: neither surrendering nor assuming that everything is too vague to plan anything or dreaming for the golden days’ comeback. Instead, you must develop a vision and maintain a laser-like focus on where you want to be in the following few years while keeping all of the challenges in mind. Now that you have a clear vision, but we live in a VUCA world, your vision will not function flawlessly and will portray you with a different reality. What are your possibilities in such a situation?

UNCERTAINITY = UNDERSTANDING

Within 24 hours, a leader should be alerted of changes that can affect his vision. It is a fast method to remain up to date on international events by watching videos one to two hours of recent updates from credible digital media sources, whether about technology, business, or global politics. Daily practice is necessary to gather knowledge about relevant industries from the most accessible and up-to-date source available, which is the internet. If the leader does not understand every hour or two, they will pull back from this world in few days. Using visual representations simplifies the understanding of the world through sight and sound. They will have mental visualization of industrial concepts, regardless of their industry, whether it is banking, machinery, agriculture, politics, manufacturing, or anything else. While the vision has already been formed, these understandings will help leaders realize the substantial transformations required in business to achieve the vision. They will be inventing different judgments based on the most up-to-date facts while keeping your eyesight.

 

COMPLEXITY = COURAGE

When a system is out of equilibrium, complexity refers to the unpredictable behavior of the system. The other will be uncontrollably shaky in the area where we aim to handle one part of the situation. Therefore, once you’ve understood everything, you must possess the courage to act based on the relevant information. If we gain such knowledge yet cannot make timely decisions, we are not a VUCA leader. The VUCA leader is not required to demonstrate his fearlessness to anyone. Leaders who procrastinate decision-making will not be able to survive in a VUCA environment. Indeed, VUCA leaders must make daring decisions regularly.

 

AMBIGUITY = ADAPTABILITY

 

Now, when the leader is visionary, understands the world, and has enough courage, the final characteristic for VUCA leadership success is adaptability. To execute changes, it is vital to be adaptive. If a leader lacks flexibility in accepting new methods due to their resistance to change, they will not be able to survive as a VUCA leader. Alternatively, they may lack a contingency plan outlining what they should do in the event of unexpected developments. VUCA leaders are not limited to their beliefs. On the contrary, those leaders who are emotionally invested in their ideas have a far lower probability of their being embraced. Leaders who value their vision will believe in adapting new methods whenever necessary, even if it means bringing new tactics, making new decisions based on global events, and experiencing great conviction. These are the leaders who accept adaptability.

 

Conclusion

These are the characteristics that establish the foundation for an organization’s evaluation of its present and future existence. They set the parameters for planning and policy management. They interact in ways that either complicate decision-making or strengthen one’s capacity to think ahead, plan, and move forward. VUCA leadership 2.0 fosters an atmosphere suitable for management and leadership. The importance and meaning of VUCA are directly connected to how individuals see the circumstances in which they make choices, set goals, control risk, implement change, and resolve challenges. VUCA leadership 2.0’s core values tend to alter an organizational mission more broadly.

 



Author: Dua Shah
Head of Research & Learning

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