VUCA, and People

October 24th, 2013

Wouldn’t ya know?

Not one week after sending out my most recent issue of BRAINSNACKS, my smart-n-informative enewsletter, on the topic of VUCA I received an email about…VUCA.

It was a promo for a new blog post, How the Talent Management Function Can Thrive In a VUCA World, by HR thought leader Dr. John Sullivan. Recommended reading. As he defines it:

“As a leader in talent management, you have undoubtedly already noticed over the last decade that there has been continuous volatility and change in the business, political, social, technological, and even the physical environment. Well, this world of turmoil actually has a name, which is VUCA—an acronym for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.  This turbulent environment was first identified and used by the U.S. military but it is now also becoming a standard business term that cannot be ignored.”

Yep. He said a lot of interesting stuff about VUCA but you should read that yourself.

Turns out, it was the first of two blog posts from DDI (Development Dimensions International), a global talent management consulting company. The second, [Benchmark Yourself] Is Your Talent Strategy Built for a VUCA World?, by Justin Yopp, promotes their “agile talent management” benchmarking tool.

In addition to being a clever way to capture your email (don’t know how they got mine), the benchmarking survey asks good questions, such as:

We build multi-level, agile competency models informed by business challenges to support our talent strategy.

We recognize talent strategy and systems may become obsolete, so we review them at regular intervals based on dynamics of external environment.

The choice of responses:

  • We’re doing it
  • We’re working on it
  • We should think about this

Seems like a pretty good list of things to, at a minimum, be thinking about.

Be Agile. A lot.

More and more folks seem to say that the opposite of VUCA is agility. While that makes sense, it also makes me wonder:

How much faster can we all go?




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