The volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity inherent in today’s business world is the “new normal”, and it is profoundly changing not only how organizations do business, but how business leaders lead. The skills and abilities leaders once needed to help their organizations thrive are no longer sufficient. Today, more strategic, complex critical-thinking skills are required of business leaders. In order to develop a strategic plan for developing leaders in a VUCA enviroment, you must first understand what the term means.
The “V” in the VUCA acronym stands for volatility. It means the nature, speed, volume, and magnitude of change that is not in a predictable pattern (Sullivan, 2012 January 16). Volatility is turbulence, a phenomenon that is occurring more frequently than in the past. The BCG study found that half of the most turbulent financial quarters during the past 30 years have occurred since 2002. The study also concluded that financial turbulence has increased in intensity and persists longer than in the past. (Sullivan, 2012 October 22). Other drivers of turbulence in business today include digitization, connectivity, trade liberalization, global competition, and business model innovation (Reeves & Love, 2012).