Home' Border Enterprise : July 2014 Contents ENTERPRISE DIRECT JULY 2014
How to deal with the leadership shift
BUSINESSES are under
added stress as markets are
increasingly volatile, clients
are more demanding, talent is
scarcer and change occurs in
faster and shorter cycles.
To survive and thrive business
leaders have to make faster
decisions, on less information
and which have greater risk.
This has led to a change in
how leaders need to think,
decide and execute.
A good model, that addresses
the four areas of concern that
business leaders need to deal with, is the VUCA model (developed in
the US Army War College).
This consists of:
1. Volatility - the rate, amount, and magnitude of change. Drastic,
rapid shifts can bring about instability for organisations and leaders
but even the minor or innocuous shifts that occur daily, such as new
and 'immediate' priorities that disrupt plans or the increasing need to
'multi-task', are changes that increase volatility.
2. Uncertainty - the amount
of unpredictability inherent
in issues and events. Leaders
can't predict because they lack
clarity about the challenges
and their current and future
outcomes. Uncertainty can
result in an over-reliance on
past experiences and yesterday's
solutions or to analysis paralysis
as they sift through more and
3. Complexity - the amount
of dependency and interactive
effect of multiple factors and
drivers. Complex interactivity requires leaders to think in more
creative, innovative and non-linear way; to be able to deal with shades
of grey (as opposed to black and white) solutions.
4. Ambiguity -- the degree to which information, situations, and events
can be interpreted in multiple ways. Ambiguity increases doubt, slows
decision-making and results in missed opportunities (and threats). It
requires that leaders think through and diagnose things from multiple
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