It IS a VUCA world…and we aren’t helping:: Kevin Roberts [Saatchi & Saatchi]


Perhaps it is going to require a declaration from such as the Pope , Obama, Dalai Lama, Lady Gaga or some “celebrity” enjoying 15 minutes of fame before we, finally, take on board that we don’t know what we are doing! The tools and techniques of the last century topped-up with any amount of talking will change little, if anything and, in all probability, the scale and pace of change will not be sufficient…

“So in the UK, first, we don’t have the dream, second, we don’t have the appetite to win – the Chinese are going to eat our lunch. We’ve lost the desire to win because winning has been ugly in the last economic environment. And the third thing Britain’s getting wrong is execution. We live in a ‘Vuca’ world – a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous but British companies keep having strategy meetings! What the f***? We have no strategic plans at Saatchi – instead we have 10 things to do in 100 days. Have a dream, get on with it and if you fail then fail fast, learn fast, fix fast.

via Leadership | Kevin Roberts.

A "VUCA" World needs Strategic Thinkers:: Inc.com


If  you have absolutely no idea what “VUCA” stands for the following presentation will be extremely useful and, hopefully, put these “6 Habits” into a meaningful context. By no stretch of the imagination is this a complete guide…by definition there won’t be one! But, if it stops Leaders & Managers from decision-making based upon, potentially dangerous,  assumptions that is a progress!

“We need strategic leaders!” is a pretty constant refrain at every company, large and small. One reason the job is so tough: no one really understands what it entails. It’s hard to be a strategic leader if you don’t know what strategic leaders are supposed to do.

I love this quote from Paul Shoemaker….

“Every leader’s temptation is to deal with what’s directly in front, because it always seems more urgent and concrete. Unfortunately, if you do that, you put your company at risk. While you concentrate on steering around potholes, you’ll miss windfall opportunities, not to mention any signals that the road you’re on is leading off a cliff”

After two decades of advising organizations large and small, my colleagues and I have formed a clear idea of what’s required of you in this role. Adaptive strategic leaders — the kind who thrive in today’s uncertain environment – do six things well: Read more of this post

World Economic Forum:: New Models of Leadership–John Maeda


John Maeda is President of the Rhode Island School of Design and is a Member of the Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership.

As far as I can recall, I first came across the name of John Maeda from this beautifully succinct quote:

“Openness simplifies complexity”

A decent introduction to anyone, I think you’ll agree. Particularly when you have spent years trying to convey the need for and merits of TRANSPARENCY; the costs associated with AMBIGUITY and risks created by excessive COMPLEXITY.

John Maeda is President of the Rhode Island School of Design and is a Member of the Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership.

Discussions this year from the Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership culminated in a white paper, which describes a set of competencies for leaders in the 21st century. A central thesis of our work is the need for leaders to be agile in what are increasingly volatile and complex times.

Read more of this post

Welcome to the world “beyond risk”: Volatility; Uncertainty; Complexity; Ambiguity


Illiteracy has long been recognised as an issue that “advanced economies” must address and, although I am no expert on the subject, I get the impression that great strides have been made and education is more widely available than at any point in our history. So, the question arises: why do educated people (and nations) still keep doing such really stupid things to each other, our planet and economy? 

The answer MAY lie in this great quote from Alvin Toffler:

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

This quote crops up in a presentation that could go some way to explaining our predicament…

Political, Financial and Business leaders in the sophisticated, advanced, Western World have lost the art of listening and are intent upon clinging desperately to the belief systems that got them where they are. Despite the fact that the depth of the flaws have been exposed time, after time, after time! Read more of this post

The need to get proactive:: IBM on ‘Complexity and risk’


I may not entirely agree with the conclusions but it is difficult not to agree with the IBM introductory problem statement

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It is little wonder that the services of firms such as IBM are so costly. Because they invest a huge amount in research such as this…only for it to fall on ‘deaf ears’, closed minds and lose out to blind faith in practices that few “on the inside” dare speak-out about or question. EVEN when preserving the status quo with artifice and lies… CREATES AMBIGUITY (A SOURCE OF COMPLEXITY), INCREASES RISK,  FEEDS VOLATILITY AND ADDS TO UNCERTAINTY…in an already VUCA WORLD