This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Is VUCA in the eye of the beholder


I first heard the term VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) five years ago when I started working with a client that epitomizes this view of the world.  It's one of those terms that, once explained, seem to describe the world perfectly.

For some people, I bet a viewpoint like this can cause them to freeze and find themselves unable to do anything. How can you choose if it feels like any choice leads to chaos? On the other hand there are people who love to tout their VUCA reality and show what great heroes they are for figuring it out. 

Here's the thing: VUCA seems to be just how we look at things. Why not accept the things we cannot change and change the things we can?

Sure there is volatility, uncertainty and ambiguity: How do we operate when that exists in the world? Yes, there are many moving parts and many degrees of freedom giving us seemingly-many options in our part of the world. How can we operate such that we can see what we are doing? So that we can see what impact we are having on the parts of the system we care about? 

What if we had a different view? What if we believe that the there is inherent simplicity in the system we work in? Then we'd be driven to find that simplicity - rather than trying to build more and more complicated solutions to "solve" our complex problems. At the very least, there should be simple (not necessarily "easy") ways of looking at a problem that help to visualize and demonstrate what is going on.  What if instead of fighting variability (by trying to remove it - or worse ignore it), we acknowledge it and build approaches that help us manage WITH the variability.

Similarly, we seem to take conflict as a given and we strive for compromises (nobody wins) solutions. What if instead we believe that any conflict can be removed and that there are solutions that can resolve the dilemma? How would that change our approach to these situations?

Making Work Visible by Dominica DeGrandis

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