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.

McKinsey:: strategy for the turbulent world of complexity and uncertainty


Click on image for report link

Globalization and technology are sweeping away the market and industry structures that have historically defined the nature of competition. Although the pace of change continues to accelerate, the fundamental transformations under way in the global economy have only just started. The variables that can profoundly influence success and failure are too numerous to count. That makes it impossible to predict, with any confidence, which markets a company will be serving or how its industry will be structured—even a few years hence.

The result is an economic environment that is rich in opportunity but also marked by a substantial increase in awareness of risk and aversion to it— a phenomenon reflected in the rise of risk premiums throughout the world even while the risk-free cost of capital remains low.

This is a very interesting report and, although more in-depth and from slightly different perspective, carries a broadly similar message to that, contained in a report from Boston Consulting Group, that I wrote about recently:

Adaptability: The New Competitive Advantage

Of course it is much easier to glibly talk about managing complexity and building resilience than it is to “do it”…especially without tools from Ontonix! We can also assist with identifying areas of weakness and strength within the organisation and its ecosystem.

It is vital that the operational and financial structure; IT; commitment, capacity and capabilities are aligned; sufficiently robust to underpin “sustainable transformation” and a resilient strategy, capable of creating opportunities from threats.

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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