Leading through VUCA
Indus Hyderabad Annual Day
15 February 2019
Introduction - The Challenge
Given the rate of obsolescence - jobs, technology and knowledge, change;
and acceleration, we are living in a world that is increasingly becoming VUCA.
We are finding it extremely challenging to:
Adapt to this phenomenon
To pause and reconnect with ourselves
Be innovative to reskill and reinvent ourselves
Prevent being burnout
1: Innovation is the # 1 Leadership and Spiritual Competency
Many are creative but only a few are innovative. There is a big difference. To
be creative is to come up with a lot of ideas. To be innovative is to apply them in real-
life situations to solve problems creatively.
Application of ideas demands a separate set of companion competencies and
skills apart from creativity. These are:
Empathy which is declining by the day
Critical-thinking, which demands the ability to analyse vast
quantities of data, identify the problems, and set challenging goals.
Persuasive communications in order to transform perspective and bring
attitudinal change.
Collaboration by solving the problem through team work as complex
problems are interdisciplinary and usually require different types
of expertise.
Grit, a blend of passion, hope and perseverance, to hold on to
long-term goals. In this regards, greater energy and greater passion is more
extraordinary than greater genius.
Resilience in the face of challenges and failure by the ability to bounce back.
2: Cognitive Readiness is a Leadership Competency
A VUCA situation by its very nature creates a lot of ‘fog’, ‘noise’, and ‘clutter’;
and requires leaders to take rapid decisions in the face of stress, usually with little or
no information, exaggerated information and often fake news. Therefore, the
development of cognitive readiness competencies is a high priority.
Cognitive readiness implies:
Being psychologically robust to withstand stress, preparedness for
uncertainty and risk, and focus on the critical few, the 20 percent.
Restoring confidence in the team in the aftermath of disruptions,
showing them the way forward, and inspiring action.
Intuitive decision-making, now being referred as System 1 thinking.
3: Purpose, Meaning and Vision