As relations thawed between the East and West during the final phases of the Cold War, people were struggling to come to terms with the sudden new reality. After over forty years of divide and threats, ironically the end of the divide caused quite a threat.

This is when VUCA was born.

VUCA stood for what the world was going through from a military, social, economic, and geo-political point of view. We no longer had ‘sides to be on’ or ‘enemies to hate’ and this caused a number of things, four to be precise.

It caused Volatility, created Uncertainty, brought about Complexity and everything became Ambiguous (VUCA).

Today, with the Russian and Ukrainian conflict and a world still reeling off the back of a global pandemic, are we back to where it all started in 1987?

Like with everything there are always two sides to a coin; on the one, many would say we are not dealing too well with VUCA while others would cling on to Churchill’s quip and “never let a good crisis go to waste” in the pursuit of opportunity.

Of course, it all depends on which side of the coin you actually are, and I am in no way minimising the extent of the gravity of what is going on across the globe, but the point I am trying to make is that there is actually an option for us to choose.

No matter how dire a situation we may be in, we have a choice. It might well not be the one we want or wish for, but we do have a choice.

Do you want to or can you see it, is a totally different conversation, yet the type of conversation we should be having, especially during VUCA times.

You see conversations start in our head, but if our head is stuck in a rut, we will only talk and see our lack of options. We therefore need a mindset shift to pull our head’s out of the sand.

To do this, try focusing on seeing how you could turn every loss, failure, or pain into either a learning experience, opportunity for growth or gift to others. Distance yourself from the immediate and seek out ways to create a new meaning for VUCA; one that can bring Vision and Understanding, Clarity and Agility. Thus, flipping how we interpret, think, discuss and live with VUCA.

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