The VUCA concept has been around since the 1990’s when it was coined by the US military to describe the challenging military conditions faced in Afghanistan and Iraq. The term has since been adopted by the corporate world to help describe and understand the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous contexts in which corporations operate today.
Key Success Factors in a VUCA World
Because the ultimate responsibility for organisations coping with the challenges of a VUCA world lie with its leaders, much of the available research has focused on identifying the key leadership competencies and attributes required for success in a VUCA world. These include:
- Leaders have to see all the parts and pieces of an organisation and how they interrelate and connect with one another
- They must be able scan the external environment, and determine where the opportunities, threats and anomalies lie
- They must be able to make key strategic decisions in the face of constantly shifting changes both in the internal and external environments
- They must make the correct judgment calls whilst demonstrating the agility to respond to their environments
- Leaders need to think big picture and capitalise on the complexity they face
- They must view uncertainty as providing opportunities
- Leaders should never lose focus on employee engagement.
- They must provide strategic direction, whilst allowing people the freedom and discretionary space they need to innovate new processes, products and services.
EDAC and working in a VUCA World
Whilst the literature has placed a strong emphasis on leading effectively in a VUCA world it is also important to acknowledge that all employees operate in environments and job roles where they face varying degrees of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Organisational success in a VUCA world is therefore achieved through the entire organisational system being able to cope with these challenges.
EDAC’s capability assessment products have been used by our global partners for many years to do exactly this. Our products enable organisations to ensure its’ employees have the necessary decision-making capability at all organisational levels to cope with the VUCA challenges they encounter.
Capability Assessment Tools
Our capability tools enable our partner’s clients to:
‘Scientifically evaluate the nature and extent of complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity that each employee within their organisation can cope with.’
In other words, our capability tools help organisations to understand at which theme of work an employee will be able to cope, make effective decisions, and experience flow and engagement, which occurs when the work challenge (VUCA challenge) faced is equal to the employee’s decision-making capability.
In order to evaluate the theme of work that either internal employees or external candidates are comfortable with we offer our partners two different ‘capability’ assessment tools i.e. Modified Career Path Appreciation (MCPA), or the MCPA -SCAN. The choice of tool depends on the seniority of the person going through the assessment and / or the delivery method the client prefers i.e. online or face-to-face.
A VUCA world and the challenges it brings are here to stay and the volatility, complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity faced by organisations is likely to continue growing. Whilst our assessments tools have been helping our partners’ clients manage their complexity for many years, we strongly believe our unique approach of understanding VUCA will continue to add value and contribute to the success our partners and their clients enjoy in the context of an ever-changing environmental landscape.
EDAC is an assessment technology company that specialises in the development and distribution of online psychometric and other assessment instruments. These are used primarily for management and leadership selection and development, and to support recruitment decisions.
EDAC is a B2B business that partners with, as well as licenses and trains medium to large leadership consultancy firms across the globe to be able to use our products, as part of their management and leadership assessment offering.
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