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Have you ever heard “We live in a VUCA world”? If, like me, you have a hard time remembering what the acronym stands for (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) then here’s the 1-pager for you:

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Content of 1-Pager:

“We live in a VUCA world” is often used to motivate a transition to (business) agility. It describes four elements that present the context in which organizations view their current and future state:

The situation is not hard to understand but unstable, subject to change and might be unexpected

Basic cause and effect are known but there’s a lack of predictability; possible surprises

Many interconnected parts and variables, the confounding of issues, confusion and no cause-and-effect chain

The haziness of reality, the potential for misreads, and the mixed meanings of conditions; cause-and-effect confusion

The acronym was coined around 1990 based on the leadership theories of Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus. The U.S. Army War College described the more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous multilateral world they perceived as resulting from the end of the Cold War as VUCA.


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