Several weeks ago I started by talking about what it means to be a leader in a VUCA world. That’s Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. Something we can all relate to.

I’ve replaced the letters with four key principles which help us to navigate through this instability. V was Values, U was Uplift, C was Commitment, now A is … Action.

Because it’s all just good theory and interesting discussion if it doesn’t turn into action.

As you’re creating your new direction in times of change, the course will become apparent piece by piece. I encourage my clients to start taking action on those pieces, even if there’s a risk that some effort will be wasted.

There are two reasons for this:

  • If your organization is caught in the fight-or-flight-or-freeze mode, this helps focus people on something they can do which might be useful.
  • People learn as they go, and you want to encourage learning. Without learning, you probably won’t end up picking the best course.

When you’re transparent with your people, you’ll be telling them that their efforts are helping to keep the boat afloat and you to make decisions. It’s not useless make-work, there’s some degree of purpose.

That’s what helps people to stay motivated and committed to working through difficulties.

You’ll also be watching your own mindset, because it’s easy to stay in inaction yourself. There’s always more data which could be gathered, more alternatives to evaluate.

But in a VUCA world, the winners are those who take action despite insufficient information and lack of certainty.

And that’s the world we live in.