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An Agile Approach to Skills Development for VUCA World

We live in a VUCA world, which is our new corporate reality. The VUCA acronym, which stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, was coined by the US military to define the post-Cold War state of things. It’s a strange world where you never know what to expect.

In the business world, this implies that organisations compete in an environment that is characterised by constant, rapid, and unexpected change. In such a world, learning is critical for efficient operations. With technological advancements focusing on automating many tasks and vocations, the development of lifetime skills is crucial for both people and organisations.

But what are VUCA skills exactly?

VUCA possess skills associated with collaborative capacity, perspective coordination, contextual thinking, and the decision-making process.

Collaborative capacity: possesses skills for self-regulation, perspective seeking and handling, and communication.

Perspective coordination: incorporates skills for identifying perspectives, sustaining productive dealings, and incorporating perspectives.

Contextual thinking: includes skills for comprehending the primary situation, understanding the larger context, and recognising constraints and affordances.

The Decision-making process: This includes skills for decision structure, establishing goals, collecting data, specifying solutions, deciding, and implementation. 

Building VUCA skills isn’t necessarily difficult, but it does take time to develop. In an ideal world, we have been developing our skills most of our lives. However, most formal education focuses on academic understanding rather than real-world skills.

How to make your business win in the skills economy?

So how do you start building brainpower in your organisation? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Make thinking a priority.

Our mental defaults are so effective that we are often unaware of them. As a result, the first step in improving thinking agility is to engage in meta-cognition — thinking about thinking. A validated assessment can assist employees in identifying their thinking defaults as well as the types of thinking they avoid, how their thinking contributes to and detracts from their success, and where they should focus their development on increasing their situational wholeness.

Provide chances for diverse thinking muscles to be exercised.

Regular practice not only strengthens mental muscles but also fosters and promotes a more whole-brained approach to work. You can give a variety of tools and models to help individuals remember to expand beyond their comfort zones.

1Huddle is a platform that we use to create skill-based games for our customers as part of a holistic approach to increasing employee engagement and building a skilled workforce for organisations to remain competitive and continually improve. With a mobile-first approach to preparing the modern worker, a mobile library of 3,000+ quick-burst employee skill games, an on-demand game marketplace that covers 16 unique workforce skill areas, and the option for personalized content, 1Huddle is changing the way organizations think about their training – from a one-time boring onboarding experience to a continuous motivational tool.

Assemble teams that are “diverse by design.

In today’s world, everyone has to be able to draw on all accessible ideas — including that of co-workers, direct reports, leaders, and others. A cognitively diverse team that is encouraged to listen to, appreciate, and employ all of its resources will outperform all others, especially when dealing with complicated challenges or tasks.

In conclusion: Develop agile employees who can thrive in the age of VUCA

Either you let VUCA “manage” you, overloading and overwhelming you, or you embrace and handle it so that you and your team can reduce its consequences. When you acknowledge VUCA, you make yourself and your team less susceptible, empowering everyone to cope with uncontrolled, unexpected forces.