Understanding: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity
The world isn’t fixed; we can’t predict the future, we don’t know what’s going to happen, and there’s definitely not a crystal-clear path for any of us. We’re in an evolving situation with change happening faster and often. We are dealing with a massive rate of change. This is what volatility refers to; change happening often and fast.
Again, this refers to the unpredictable nature of what could happen in the future. We can’t get perfect information; we have to navigate not knowing the whole truth of how our newest strategy is actually going to perform. We can collect a lot of data to show how things went, and what went well, and by then we’ll be able to try and analyze our behavior and predict trends. But basically, we don’t know.
It’s not all uncertain and volatile. Sometimes, you’ll have known elements, but it’s complex to navigate or to turn into a simple strategy or approach. The thing is that change often have a multipored effect. If you change one thing, you may affect a whole lot of other things. If you reorganize your organization, you’ll affect your culture, leadership and how you might drive innovation. If you change how you drive innovation, you may affect your direction, purpose and culture. It’s all interconnected – making it all complex.
Often, something has more than one possible meaning, thereby it can cause confusion. This is what ambiguity is about. We may be able to see things happening in the environment, but not know what it means. We may see effects, but not understand them. This, emphasis the ability to be open to more than one interpretation, mastering white space as well as having a constant rhythm with 14 days sprint and many iterations – especially when we speak about modern people leadership.