Strategic Human Capital Insights

4 Reasons Why the VUCA Reality Is Here to Stay

Given the pandemic/endemic and the disruption resulting from it, we can no longer hide from the change that is swirling around us. If you’re still wondering if the world of work is changing, just look at our current situation. You can’t escape reality.

Prior to the pandemic, we were experiencing unprecedented change while dealing with VUCA realities that were already here to stay. The pandemic has introduced an additional element of hyper-change that is fundamentally challenging our known operating patterns. This hyper-change has catapulted us into a completely new reality with the high probability that we will not return to our old normal state. For the foreseeable future, we will be in a constant VUCA state of confronting Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity as part of our new normal.


Here is advice and key takeaways from a few years ago that really do resonate today. How do these ideas represent how your company acts now or how your company aspires to meet the new challenges of the very near future?

Comments to Consider:

  • “Siemens remade half its product offerings in just the past decade to stay relevant.
  • “The key to survival was to ‘always disrupt yourself.’
  • “It isn’t that entrepreneurs are smarter. It’s that they are trying more crazy ideas, taking more shots on goal.”

Here are 4 Key Takeaways: It’s time to listen, plan and act!

  1. We Are All Technology Companies Now: 
    It’s always been obvious who the technology companies are. What is now apparent and worth noting is that technology is now also at the operating core of all companies. At the very least, it is now a strategic business driver that will accelerate competitive advantage, value, and growth. Whether you are a technology company or not, technology matters!

  2. Competition Can Come from Anywhere:
    John Chambers, Chairman, Cisco, stated that the “connected-economy will hit business much faster than expected, with 500 billion connected devices by 2025, rather than the 25 billion some predict.… Traditional boundaries separating industries will blur.”

  3. The Greatest Challenge Isn’t Tech, but People:
    Creating the right culture is the central challenge for surviving technology-driven change. Process has dominated our business thinking and operations for the past 15 to 20 years. At this point in business, we have taken process about as far as it can go. People, a company’s human capital, have finally been acknowledged as a key, critical business driver for the future.

  4. China Slowdown or Not, Developing Markets Remain Key:
    These markets are where the business challenges and opportunities are. New countries and new cities we hadn’t considered ten years ago will be at the core of companies’ growth and value creation.   We need to continue to look forward and anticipate the future of these developing markets. 

With these new challenges, our VUCA world will require organizations to be agile, resilient, future-focused, and forward-thinking. New opportunities will require constantly changing operating paradigms, with new blueprints, new challenges, and new risks. 

Evaluate how your organization is preparing to meet the challenges of the VUCA world evidenced by today’s hyper-change world. See if your organization is ready to meet the challenges. Take our complimentary VUCA Stress Test today.

Take the VUCA Stress Test  

Topics: Leadership, Organizational Alignment & Effectiveness

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Joanne Flynn

Joanne T. Flynn heads up the human capital advisory group, Phoenix Strategic Performance, Inc. Previously, she was a Managing Director with Phoenix Group International and was Vice President / Director of Global Learning and Development at Goldman, Sachs for nine years. Joanne works with organizations as they face global growth and competitive challenges. She works with her clients to be both externally focused and internally responsive. With her unique background, she aligns competitive strategic efforts with related internal organizational leadership challenges. With the benefit of her career-long focus, Joanne contributes the unique insight of aligning strategy to internal organizational structure and process. She focuses on human capital relative to strategic initiatives, accelerated business growth, value creation, and business development. Joanne holds a Master of Arts degree in Business Management from the University of Oklahoma. In addition, she holds a double degree major in History and German from St. Elizabeth University, as well as certificates from a variety of leading universities and professional training and development organizations. Joanne has recently published her latest book, Accelerating Business Success, The Human Asset Management Strategy.

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