Strategic Human Capital Insights

4 Reasons Why the VUCA Reality Is Here To Stay

11/18/15 11:00 AM

VUCA_WorldThis is the fourth blog in in our VUCA blog series. In case you missed the other blogs, you can view them here.

If you’re still wondering if the world of work is changing, just look at recent events and published articles that evidence this.

The recent 13th Fortune Global Forum is just one of these events (and these events are everywhere if you’re ready to look). It was a meeting of leaders from both old and new companies, both public and private. It generated observations and views we must consider.

The Forum had four takeaways that are worth noting since they directly impact the issues of the new VUCA reality (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity). The forum provides a global context that reinforces the reality that VUCA is here to stay. So I thought it would be timely and appropriate to share the recently published four takeaways and statements from the event. 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?

Statements to Ponder 

  • CEO Joe Kaeser said, “Siemens has remade half its product offerings in just the past decade to stay relevant

  • Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM, restated her saying, “The key to survival was to ‘always disrupt yourself”

  • Peter Diamandis said, “It isn’t that entrepreneurs are smarter, it’s that they are trying more crazy ideas, taking more shots on goal.”

  • Larry Page, when asked if there was any existing company “that you look at and say, ‘That’s kind of what we want to be,’ he replied, “Um, no.”

Here are The Four 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 – 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 10 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 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 the 13th Fortune Global Forum.  See if your organization is ready to meet the challenges. Take our complimentary VUCA Stress Test today.

Take the VUCA Stress Test  

Topics: Organizational Alignment, VUCA

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Joanne Flynn

In 2014, Joanne Flynn founded Phoenix Strategic Performance, a strategic human capital advisory firm. Prior to this, Joanne was Vice President at Goldman Sachs for 10 years responsible for global learning and development. She then led the consulting practice of Phoenix Group International, a consulting firm specializing in global financial service. Joanne is now taking best practices from the people-intensive financial services industry and adapting those best practices to startup and growth businesses. She is a thought leader in the areas of strategic organizational alignment, organizational agility, human capital gap analysis, leadership challenges for the new workplace and transformation leadership.

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