In the past weeks, I’ve taken us through the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world. And I’ve introduced another VUCA to help us navigate: Values, Uplift, Commitment, Action.

The problem is that we might think of “times of change” as individual events. Our objective is to survive each change, then get back to “normal.”

Unfortunately, “normal” is now Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. Always uncomfortable.

So how do we deal with this on an ongoing basis? Well, it’s all about the culture you build in your organization:

  • Values-based: People understand the values which drive behavior and have confidence that those values drive real decisions big and small.
  • Uplift: People support each other, nurturing optimism in the face of challenges.
  • Commitment: Leaders are committed to their people, and commitment is recognized and rewarded in all.
  • Action-oriented: People are recognized for taking action even in the face of uncertainty, and mistakes are acknowledged (not punished) as a natural tradeoff.

There is no question that organizations which nurture this kind of agile culture are more successful. It’s a much more organic approach, but you have to give up any expectation of always being the smartest person in the room. You have some power to drive direction, but it’s effective because your people are willingly following you.

Not because you have position-power and give them a paycheck.