How to prosper in VUCA times and the Adaptive Age

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HOW TO PROSPER IN VUCA TIMES AND THE ADAPTIVE AGE

 

The current situation: The concept used for chaotic situations, VUCA [Volatility and acceleration of changes, Uncertainty of information and future, Complexity of interrelation of variables, Ambiguity and little certainty between positions found] is normalized, not only in military or business environment, now is the reality of civilization in general.

 

The impact: This produces a feeling of loss of CONTROL. We are not clear on 

what to expect, much less on what to do. Prosperity and happiness are defined by our expectations and the VUCA situation baffles us to generate those expectations.

 

Such perception of loss of control affects our TRUST, in ourselves and in others, on the ability to respond to these challenges.

 

The timely response: Embrace the choice to adapt. We can avoid automatic responses and CHOOSE CONSCIOUSLY. From a philosophical vision, to a more pragmatic one, we must recover wisdom to adapt to circumstances and choose wisely between:

  • What we can control, to ANTICIPATE and ACT proactively.
  • What we cannot control, we must kindly ACCEPT and ADAPT to it.

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How do we do it? What habits and practices are needed? Be ACA! [In Spanish it means HERE] A good acronym to be present and build TRUST. Here are some ACA examples, with an individual and leadership focus:

 

A - Awareness and Consciousness

  • Pay full attention and realize how the situation is impacting, yourself, and others. It involves focusing on truthful information, listening, and fostering personal connection to the people around you.
  • Know your and your team´s [family and work] personal resources, to overcome and prosper. This requires continuous analysis and discerning of skills, attitudes,  and limitations.

C - Compassion

  • Kindly accept the emotions and responses of oneself and others. 
  • Practice inclusiveness to reduce the excesses of individual egos, focusing on the common good of the team.
  • Accept the inevitable with a sense of peace, not getting emotionally hooked on events out of your control.
  • Respond with positive intentionality.
  • Be flexible when facing mistakes and be humble to learn.

 

A - Action

In addition to a culture focused on general well-being, the most important thing is that we individually change our attitude, understanding that the rules have changed, so we need to ADAPT. This requires that we create a space of discernment between the stimulus [VUCA situation] and our response, so that we can choose wisely.

 

Leaders have a responsibility to build TRUSTED environments for others to to be able to act and prosper. Authoritative or tyrant leadership styles are no longer options.

 

The latin origin of RESPONSIBLY is Response + ability! How capable are you?

 

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About the Author

Veronica Fernandez Mesias

Veronica [Vero] has a PhD in Work and Organizational Psychology (ongoing) and a Masters Degree in Consultancy and Strategic Management of Organizations and Work and Organizational Psychology, all from Universidad Complutense in Madrid. She loves talking and learning about organizational culture and bringing people together, that's why she's a part of DH Spain! With an extensive professional background in senior management for multinationals such as Gillette Company and Procter and Gamble (US), Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA, Spain), and Cines Unidos (Venezuela), Vero combines the research and science of culture with hands-on experience.

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