We have never seen the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) that we are seeing today. The second wave of Covid has already started to rip through businesses causing havoc. Considering the VUCA the environment demands that someone react quickly to ongoing changes that are unpredictable and out of control, while during uncertainty the environment requires you to act without certainty.
In complex parameter, the environment is dynamic, with many dependencies while in ambiguous parameter, the environment is unfamiliar, beyond one's expertise.
The factors during the ongoing VUCA need to be rigorously monitored are: - impact of technology: assessing how technology is impacting your business (Product/Service delivery). Businesses also need to check technology trends and track technological shifts like AI, chat bots, big data, automations, etc.
In shifting financial markets - disruptive ideas whether competition is being introduced in any market should be focused on while in case of customer evolution businesses should figure out consumer behaviour changes. Careful monitoring of customers' trend and quick reacting to them will bring success in the strategies.
Based on this factor analysis businesses must update their SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and map their resource skills and capacities. If assessment showcases skill upgradation is required, immediate training initiatives has to be taken. Businesses must re-assess their market, customers' markets and suppliers' markets. Situation dictates refreshment of these assessments is needed regularly to keep the business strategy aligned.
Simultaneously keeping an eye on regulators and court orders is important and regular communications with the regulators are important so that businesses can assist in terms of taking the right kind of decisions.
While aligning strategic objectives they must be well funded (Don't be near-sighted, re-align your financial priorities).
In such a case there may be short term results vs long term strategic initiatives. One should find projects that need to be stopped to stop them immediately while reallocating resources to next successful projects. Delivery channel / distribution channel should be reassessed to balance their entire portfolio of initiatives across long term and short term.
Considering all the dynamic initiatives being taken for updating the business strategies, execution of strategy is important and for that, communications must be done down the level for better alignment. For better executions department-wise activities must be listed down and explained internally for assessing how it is tied to the larger strategy. If assessment shows that it's not tied up, stop that activity.
Technics are there to tackle the scenario but it won't complement if the leadership approach is not customised accordingly. Leaders will have to work on their vision, focus more on short-term and mid-term initiatives as disruptions are coming more quickly than ever.
Alongside these VUCA fighting, leaders will have to rely more on data. It's very important to bring digitisation into business operations so that more accurate trend analysis of the services and products can be done. Reacting to market behaviour is going to be easy within a very small period. Fighting uncertainty is going to be less challenging.
Leaders will have to dig down more to the complexity so that they can identify the problematic areas and gradually work on bringing clarity by solving the most important problems. Eventually following this step would ease the situation.