Written by: Madhumita Manna
About the author: Director/Head Marketing – OTC , Center of Excellence (Emerging Markets), Working with a Pharmaceutical Giant
We have heard the word VUCA for years now, what does it really mean …. It is a world which is constantly changing. Be it the economic impact of 2008 due to Lehman brothers, the influence of the digital world, emerging needs of the global consumers, the rise of a generation with a cause “The millennial” or the unexpected pandemic these are but the real experience of the jargon VUCA. Today the experience is far beyond the corporate world and has impacted every facet of our life.
The VUCA influences rapid transformations be it the economic outlook, consumer purchasing behavior, changing consumer needs, changes in the entire value delivery system for instance from mom and pop stores to supermarkets to e-commerce, physical money to the Paytm a and the traditional communication on TV to talking to a more informed digital consumer. The changes are happening at a lightning speed.
VUCA requires different kind of leadership and thinking. The most AMAZING part of the VUCA world is that leadership can come from any quarter and therefore anybody can be a leader… Wow!! How can this happen. The reason is fairly common the organization is looking for a solution, and whoever offers that is a leader.
Given that the VUCA world is here to stay as leaders, one needs to identify key talent irrespective of age, experience or organizational level if they have the spark mentor them to lead at these times they have the drive, energy and motivation to deliver.
In span of last 20 years of my career there has been many a times experimenting by placing trust on the young leaders with innovative mind, this did paid off. As leaders create an environment which fosters democracy & courage for everyone to speak out their ideas, challenge status quo and changes the mundane to drive change.
In the rapidly changing world agility, flexibility and adaptability matters and here are some tips…
Build A gutsy organization:
Encourage everyone to voice your ideas irrespective of position, designation level etc. Although make sure the ideas have to be backed by robust facts, figures, an execution plan and outcomes. Lead from the front in crisis, but encourage breakthroughs to come from any quarter!!
VUCA world, which is ever changing calls for being on your toes and informed.
Be agile about the new happenings which will influence your industry, organization, business. Go beyond the boundaries of your job profile observe, network and read up!!
Speed is the key
Absorb the new happenings quickly, understand the impact and deliver the solution at a whirlwind speed. The leaders speed is the teams speed!!
Build Flexibility & resilience
For speedy delivery you need to demand or develop an organization culture which is flexible, this can be easily done by engaging all the people in approving and executing the idea. Sell the Vision to all!!
It is necessary to build up the organization capabilities to combat with the new normal, identify, train & gear up!!
It is important for the current business to continue and new initiatives to be funded, involve key people and drive these bottoms up to get buy in from the lowest level.
Thought clarity & Planning
Develop an in-depth plan with clearly laid out responsibilities, timelines and outcomes. This is a must!!
Blitzkrieg speed of execution is a must, be it building capability of the organization to the emerging digital onslaught, development of new products for the emerging consumer need, other new learnings…. new processes sensitize all involved!!
KPIs and course correction
Metrics to measure progress and timely course correction is an important step in the entire process.
People are key empower & energies them
Last but not the least empower others and yourself to energize the system to fight the crisis. Trust mentor & encourage!!