Sunday, October 31, 2021


 To survive the “VUCA” new normal and thrive with the long-term business advantage involve more prediction, planning, adjustment, and speed.

We live in an era full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and ambiguity. In business, every day is a risk, there are downward risks (loss of value) or upward risks (opportunity to create value); there are internal risks or external risks; some risks can be quantifiable; some can only be approximated.

 To predict and prevent, deal with threats or disruptions that organizations face, it’s important to look for something “hidden,” which is not always so obvious, leverage quality information for making better assumptions and improving forecast precision.

Ambiguity: In a world where change is significantly speeding up, business leaders couldn’t predict the future with a certain degree of accuracy, things cannot be described clearly, ambiguity is the new reality. To deal with ambiguity, it’s important to collect relevant information, develop a predicting model based on the information you have, and apply quality data to forecast what will happen in the business. Often, the quality of your data defines the quality of your prediction technically.

Know your information, then see what it predicts. Understand the limitations of information technology, talent ability, process agility, etc. To make effective decisions, organizational leaders and professionals need to have the right dose of tolerance of ambiguity; become more comfortable with uncertainty, unpredictability, conflicting directions, and multiple demands, capture business insight, define more than one way to achieve the business goals, and take different paths for experimenting and exploring to achieve high performance.

Complexity: Things are complex in many dimensions. Organizations are inherently and intensely complex. It is no surprise that there is a tension between “old and new,” from the mindset, business model, process or practice perspectives. People and processes interact with each other, the complex organizations do not operate in a linear, predictable way but have the added complexity of dynamic relationships or nonlinear interconnectivity. They act as complex and unpredictable systems, amplify, or ameliorate the effects of others.

Technically, the complexity of aggregate layers of organization is a burden that often causes conflicts. Organizational management needs to enhance desired complexities such as design complexity, but eliminate unneeded complication. Always keep in mind, organizations become complex, as an evolutionary trend, not for their own amusement, but do it to respond to environments proactively. The forward-looking view of the organization is to determine what the future needs to look like and how business leaders can navigate “VUCA” new normal smoothly. Be flexible to deal with complexity in a structural way and improve overall manageability.

Uncertainty: Uncertainty is a state of having limited knowledge where it is impossible to exactly describe the existing circumstance, and often the management thinks that there is not so much they could do about such an uncontrollable situation. It’s important to make dynamic planning -planning in a short time and take incremental effort, allow the acquisition of new information along the way, identify external business factors and a structural process that can enable an organization to walk around the externals, supply the framing context in understanding uncertainty, mitigate risks, and encourage optimism to deal with emerging events or hidden pitfalls effectively.

Timing is everything; there is known unknown and unknown unknown. Can we predict the "unpredictable"? In the past, many business leaders believed their organizations’ long-term goals could wait until they had dealt with the current crisis. But information intention and high velocity bring a sense of urgency for organizational management to do scenario planning, do analysis and prediction based on quality information, and continue to improve business resilience. Preventing problems requires information technologies, people, processes to analyze and predict the possibility of problem happening, and apply risk intelligence to almost every discipline of management such as people management, financial management, asset management, reputation management, customer relationship management, organizational structure design, products/services/solutions development and so on.

To survive the “VUCA” new normal and thrive with the long-term business advantage involve more prediction, planning, adjustment, and speed. Information based prediction helps to prevent risks at either strategic or operational level across ecosystems. Organizational management needs to strike the right balance of information and intuition, doing data-based prediction, preventing or managing emerging business opportunities and risks smoothly; they should also be courageous enough to take calculated risks, make sound judgments on the way, solve problems that really matter and improve organizational agility, resilience, and maturity.


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