The current VUCA state: This one is worse–here’s how to prepare

A sign someone posted on social media:

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So, now we’re practicing.  But how do we do this for our work and our organizations? What do we practice, and how do we prepare for the ... future ...? We know, no one really knows for sure because we’re in a VUCA state (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) right now. Preparation at times like this means understanding what we can, and being flexible so we can respond to what we can’t. It’s a time of change.

Also, it’s a perfect time to be exploring ourselves, our organizations and our work and market environment. What changes we should be making. The old rule in training and development has always been that when business slows down: train. It’s a time when people can focus and concentrate on new learning without having as many demands pulling them away from the new learning. We believe this is one of those times, and it goes beyond just training and learning. This is the perfect time for a top to bottom look at everything we are doing.

This is what we’re doing at Lean Talent Systems. For many years we’ve been doing a variety of change management programs for organizations all over the world. Everyone knows that change can be tough and confusing. They also know that there are certain things to watch out for in people going through change and the challenges it brings with it. Stress. Fear. Rapid (too rapid sometimes) demands for new learning and new processes. Lots of mistakes and the accompanying hit to peoples’ self-esteem. How do we deal with this? How do we prepare people for all of this?

As the statement above tells us, it really is time to practice. This means doing the things many of us probably should have done a long time ago. Looking at our systems with fresh eyes. Listening to, and understanding, our people better. Clearly we can’t give you perfect answers to these. Anyone who says they can is likely part of the problem. What we can do is help you look at all the impacted systems and people in ways that can help you get to your own best answers.

What are the systems and processes we need to explore to help us prepare ourselves and our people for whatever comes next? Well, here’s at least part of the list.

  • Dealing with change: How, what, why and who?
  • Managing stress levels: For health, safety, efficiency and engagement.
  • Recruiting: Getting the people the organization really needs, going forward.
  • Development: Making sure they know, and can do, what they need to.
  • Hygiene factors: Making sure that the organization meets the basic needs of everyone.
  • Culture: Understanding people in organizational systems, how they think and especially listening to the stories they tell.
  • Vision: Sharing an image that moves everyone in the same direction.
  • People metrics: Making the data useful.
  • Decision making: Accepting that all important decisions are made based on insufficient information.

Here are things you can focus on and address, now. In coming posts we’ll discuss each of these in more depth. For now, just thinking about each of these can get us to focus where we need to. That focus is the first step.

Sid Jacobson, PhD

Director, Lean Talent Systems

LTS has expertise, experience and tools to help you with in your organization. These include an automated Lean Recruiting system. An advanced Talent Developer system. Training, coaching, consulting and more. We can help you create a future worth having. You can contact us any time through a Linked In message or click the Contact Us Now button below.