Today, we are right in the vortex of a VUCA world. We are living in a perfect storm where the tensions and demands of our changing external environment on many levels are creating real pressures on our internal ecosystems and the people working in our organizations. Old structures and roles have expired and are "past their sell-by-date." To truly embrace the new VUCA work reality, it’s time to rethink all the old organizational structures and roles. It’s easy to see when our food has expired, but are we quite as rigorous when evaluating if our structures and roles have expired as well? Are we clinging to the past, hoping our structures and roles will somehow be relevant for the present and future work demands? Let's examine the four critical skills required to excel in the new VUCA world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.
- Business Acumen: Understanding the Business of the Business
Your employees need to fully understand your business as it performs in the marketplace. If they do not, you cannot expect them to stay relevant and deliver forward-focused, value-added services and productivity.
- Critical Thinking at the Strategic Level, Problem Identification & Accelerated Decision Making
Organizations are experiencing a critical thinking and problem-solving crisis at the mid to senior levels. Employees are so busy working and putting out near-term fires there is no time to think about the bigger question, “So what is causing the fires, and how do we prevent them from starting in the future?” We are great at ‘hose management,’ but what is the risk when the hose breaks?
- Short, Medium and Long-term Planning with Complex Consequence Analysis & Strategic Risk Management (for Every Function)
Every action an organization takes will have implications for the short, medium, and long term. Organizations have under-invested in human capital over the past 15 years to achieve short-term results. We now face the mid-long-term consequences of these former, short-term decisions regarding the current talent deficit. According to recent research, our workforce will not have the skills necessary to compete globally. In addition, 60% of employees fear becoming obsolete in the next few years. Remember, every action and human capital action introduces profound risks and consequences.
- Navigating the Horizontal Matrix Structure, Identifying Organizational and Functional Interdependencies & Complex Communication Skills
To be responsive to change, hierarchical organizational structures will need to evolve into multifunctional matrix organizations. This new work environment will require all leaders and employees to understand the complexities of working in these sophisticated, flat, and unstructured organizations. When matrix structures work well, the results can be extraordinary. When they don’t work, they create chaos. Your choice!
How do your people perform against the new VUCA skills? Assess how your organization measures up against the impact of VUCA on your business. Take our VUCA Stress Test.