Blog Post

VUCA the era of predicting the unpredictable

09.10.2019 | 4 min read | Written by Thomas Lehner

Although we live in a world that is accelerated by change and driven by innovation, the reality remains unpredictable, and how it reflects on our lives is another factor that is somewhat uncertain. We live in a world of VUCA. You must have came across the term somewhere, the word VUCA has been gaining popularity for the past two years, among many other terms that are affecting many businesses.

VUCA is an acronym standing for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity

What is VUCA? 

VUCA is an acronym standing for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity that reflects a phenomenon all industries have experienced or currently are. This term is no longer exclusive to the military forces and political realms, but also directly influencing the development of the global economy. Any company must clarify its strategy and long-term ambitions, but in a world of VUCA, for those ambitions to be achieved you need to adopt the most important assets that know how to deal with challenges coming withheld.

  • Volatility – Is the outcome stable?
    This word refers to the speed of change we see happening to any industry, market, or the world in general. The sense of volatility increases as a result of fluctuations, market turbulence, new regulations, or a natural disaster that directly affects man-power and suppliers.
  • Uncertainty – Is it a predictable situation?
    Uncertainty refers to the state of hesitance and inability to see what the future holds within. When it comes to business, if a situation is uncertain, it’s a reflection of the whole environment and its instability. It’s not hard to understand what is going on, but it is very challenging to predict the future confidently.
  • Complexity – Is it analytical?
    Complexity is the situation where there is a number of interlacing factors that can change the whole work environment and its correspondents. Any business is subject to facing few challenges, but it becomes almost impossible to analyse the situation without sorting out the rationalization behind it.
  • Ambiguity – Is turbulence considered a threat?
    Ambiguity in the world of business means the lack of clarity that revolves around any project. Nothing comes without a risk, that’s when ambiguity takes place. When it’s an inaccurate situation or the information is incomplete, it becomes harder to interpret the vagueness that is threatening the idea’s success.

How VUCA affects our corporate life?

An increasing number of business owners and CEOs have adopted the VUCA method as a framework, to have a better understanding of the challenging situations. These thought-provoking situations occur due to unavoidable external aspects that could be related to politics, society, economics, technology, and/or environmental factors.

In the light of those challenges, Tracy Wolstencroft CEO and the president of Heidrick & Struggles has stated: ‘’In a VUCA world, there’s only room for humility. There is simply too much happening every given day that can make you humble. So, get ready for it. Be comfortable. Be comfortable being humble in a VUCA world. The more feedback mechanisms you have, the more you have organizations where people realize that no one person can have the best solution. The more minds on a problem, the better. And that gets back to the fact that the fishbowl can be an asset, not a liability. It’s constant feedback loop’’.

VUCA and real estate on the road

Now, that we have described the term in detail, let’s talk about the concerns revolving around the real estate industry. The main three highlights are price fluctuation as a result of new regulations, competition proposals and composition, and different approaches on a construction site.

The pace of change is quite rapid, and adapting is not impossible only if you ask the right questions. VUCA is a condition where you are required to challenge your imagination and analyse all actions and concerns. Don’t think only about constructing a building but think about building a brand. How?

By applying the alternative VUCA; vision, understanding, clarity, and agility.

  • Provoking volatility with vision
    Providing leadership for the whole workforce through a simple clear streamline clarifies all goals, internal and external. Having a clear path defines your place in the market and prepares you for when things do not work out the way you desire.
  • Clearing uncertainty with understanding
    By creating a brand strategy through research and market study will give you the privilege to stay ahead when it comes to predicting the market’s future challenges. If you have an understanding for the context of today’s decision, you might be able to predict tomorrow’s implications.
  • Facing complexity with clarity
    There is no place of work that has no friction and complexity when it comes making big decisions. However, if that one decision affects the whole company, it has to be delivered with clarity and honesty.
  • Soothing ambiguity with agility
    Defusing ambiguity is a must at a workplace. When it comes to futuristic plans, everyone hopes to stand on a solid ground and for that to achieved you only need to be straightforward with your customers and address all information.

The best way to defend your enemy is to know it well, owning a business in a VUCA world is only risky until you are capable of sensibly predicting the dynamics of the upcoming concerns.

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