01 Sep The Reality Of VUCA Reality
The first thing to realise about working in a VUCA world is that it is not possible to “deal” with a VUCA reality and continue business as usual.
That course of action will only lead to the world becoming increasingly more VUCA, and given the exponential nature of the pace of change, further attempts to “get back to normal” will only result in exponentially greater change. “Formulating strategies” and “developing tactics” to “deal with” these qualities will bring about precisely the opposite result to what is desired. The one way to create a reality which goes beyond VUCA is to work towards reducing the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
The world is VUCA because our systems of economics, our labour structure, environmental laws (such as they are), investment priorities and political practices have made it so – and to even begin to get a fix on a possible course of action means having to understand that all of those vectors are intimately connected. We have been living under the mistaken impression that we could compartmentalise them – management over here, politics there, healthcare around the corner and income disparity way over the horizon. It has been possible to live under that impression because all of those pots had been on a slow simmer, and appeared unrelated. As a whole, the world may be getting richer but over the last decade income disparity has exploded leading to both stunning misery and resulting social unrest. Climate change has finally pierced the comfortable veil of the world’s middle classes (such as they remain) when deadly storms and floods have become recognised as parts of a pattern and not isolated “natural disasters.” Hundreds of thousands of people have been escaping regions of the planet where it is no longer possible to make a living and soon it will be hard to even stay alive. Environmental degradation and the immediate influence of man’s encroachment into wilderness are now playing themselves out with COVID-19.
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