You might not have noticed but I’ve had a couple of weeks off from writing about the lockdown. I started to feel that readers might be getting a little tired of my prose, so I thought a break might be in order.
One thing that I think we are likely to all agree on is that this lockdown has been a steep learning curve for us all in many ways; learning about how COVID-19 is spread, the science behind social distancing, setting up work-stations at home, teaching ourselves how to use Teams/Zoom, etc. for meetings. The old saying, ‘Every day’s a school day’ has quite possibly never been so true.
It’s with this ‘learning process’ in mind that I thought I’d share something I’d picked up this week while on a webinar with colleagues across Europe who are part of the Worldwide Broker Network.
During the meeting, one of my colleagues mentioned that we are living in VUCA times. My initial thoughts were of Mr Spock, but he explained VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. I think that it’s a great description of the situation we find ourselves in.
I did a little online research and discovered that the acronym, VUCA, was first used in 1987 by US Military to help describe the post-Cold War environment and the multi-layered, confusing world that had evolved after decades of ‘same-ness’ and relative stability. The US Military developed the VUCA concept by drawing on the leadership theories of academics Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus¹ who had suggested a range of leadership strategies and skills required to deal with VUCA times – decision making, forward planning, problem solving, risk management, etc. Skills that we are all learning as we deal with the ever-changing COVID crisis.
One thing that struck me was the generally negative tone of VUCA – it feels uncomfortable. It instils a feeling of the unknown and anxiety. However, I did a little more research and discovered VUCA 2.0 – Vision, Understanding, Courage, Adaptability. The perfect antidote to VUCA times devised by Bill George, a senior fellow at Harvard Business School.²
Focusing on the positives, VUCA 2.0 provides insight into what skills we need to display in these difficult times.
Vision – keep in mind your goals and objectives. Visualise achieving them on both a business and personal level.
Understanding – be mindful of what you can and can’t control. Be patient with yourself, colleagues, family and friends.
Courage – be brave and optimistic; setbacks may occur but we will get through this.
Adaptability – be agile and flexible in your approach to work and life in general. Trying to push water uphill is always going to be a thankless task.
As I said, ‘every day’s a school day, so I can’t wait for tomorrow’s lesson!
#stayathome #protectTheNHS #savelives
#stayalert #controlthevirus #savelives
1.Bennis, Warren and Nanus, Burt (1985). Leaders: Strategies for Taking Charge. HarperCollins e-books.
2.George, B. (2017, 17 February). VUCA 2.0: A Strategy for Steady Leadership in an Unsteady World. Forbes Magazine.