Success in a VUCA World
VUCA is an acronym originally used by the American military to describe conditions in theatres of post Cold War conflict. It stands for:
- Complex, and
The same is true in the battles of daily life. For instance those who suddenly find themselves with the responsibility for guiding teenagers through important exams, spending more time caring for elderly parents while at the same time excelling at work in the midst of ‘change programs’.
The ability to cope in a VUCA works can be examined in terms of the degree to which someone is ‘learning agile’.
Learning agility has been examined by and is said to made up of nine behaviour patterns. They include:
- Flexibility – Willingness to try new things;
- Speed – Rapidly grasping new ideas;
- Experimenting – Testing out new ideas;
- Performance Risk Taking – Taking on challenges;
- Interpersonal Risk Taking – Asking others for help;
- Collaborating – Leveraging the skills of others;
- Information Gathering – Increasing your knowledge;
- Feedback Seeking – Asking for feedback; and
- Reflecting – Taking time to reflect on your effectiveness.
It would be helpful to examine these in coaching sessions and set goals around areas that could be strengthened. In preparation for this it is worthwhile self-assessing and taking a personality test that allows reflection on each of these behaviour patterns.
It would also be worth reflecting on the mental health challenges presented by VUCA. To what extent is someone suffering functionally, dysfunctionally or with a mental illness. Is this temporary or likely to have long-term implications.