Understanding what it takes to thrive in a VUCA world

I’ve just spent a day and a half with a group of 40 leaders, collectively making sense of what it means to be an Entrepreneur of Meaning (a wonderful phrase borrowed from Gary Hamel).  Listening to their stories, I’ve come away with a greater understanding of the pressure that decision-makers face in in a business environment that is becoming increasingly Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous.  People look to them for certainty, and rely on them to make sound decisions, hard to do in a world that is contiuously changing.  One analogy that emerged was that it is like trying to ride a raging bull elephant, it feels as if all you can do is hold on.  Many feel “precarious”, having achieved a measure of success, the pressure to stay on top is seemingly relentless.  Problem is that the meaning of success seem to be very fluid nowadays.

I am personally fascinated by the ways that people have found to not only cope with complexity and disruptive change, but to thrive in it.  More and more people seem to realise that our old ways of thinking and doing are no longer serving them and they are finding new and creative ways to adapt and thrive in this new context.

In 2 weeks, Prof Dave Snowden and I will be presenting at the Flourish! 2015 conference.  The theme this year is: how to thrive, not just survive in a VUCA world.  As part of the lead up to the conference, we would love to hear your experiences of navigating this VUCA landscape so that we can all learn together about what it takes to thrive in this “brave new world”. Every story is valuable, we can learn as much (if not more) from what didn’t work,  so we’re not only looking for the success stories.  Any experience that taught you something about what this VUCA world requires from us will be useful.

If you would like to participate, please click on this link.  Feel free to share this as widely as you can, the more stories we are able to gather, the better!  If you’d like to remain anonymous you can, but if you’d like to receive a copy of the findings you have the option of entering your email address.

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