VUCA Leadership Competencies in a Complex Global Environment


Organizations face a multitude of challenges, not the least of which is a rapidly transforming and increasingly complex global environment. With digital innovations being developed at breathtaking speeds and creating foundational systemic shifts such as blockchain (Underwood, 2016), technology has been the impetus for a scale of societal changes not witnessed since the inception of the printing press (Bolden & O’Regan, 2016). This new technologically-disruptive landscape is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. It is a VUCA world (Johansen, 2017; Petrie, 2014), creating new challenges, as well as opportunities, for organizations. Due to communication and information inexorably increasing in quantity, speed, intricacy, and variability, leadership paradigms are being rewritten (Bolden, 2011). This destabilized distributed organizational landscape calls for shifts in leadership to leverage this hyperconnected environment in tackling the world’s seemingly intractable problems (Bolden & O’Regan, 2016). Leaders must now work to move at the same speed as their environment, demanding new leadership competencies to enable success. In this radically connected world with leaders facing complex, global and ambiguous contexts that require continual adaptability inclusive of learning and practice, leaders’ competencies must shift to continue to be effective (Rodriguez & Rodriguez, 2015). No longer can a leader sit, wait, and ponder next steps. Meta-cognition as a form of reflective self-awareness (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009), managing complexity, situational adaptability, clear vision, and learning agility are competencies necessary to lead within this new multi-faceted global context (Petrie, 2014; Rodriguez & Rodriguez, 2015). This session introduces a working concept that is part of a larger study (Brodie, in progress) on identifying best practices of successful leaders in this new complex global environment.

By |2018-08-04T20:44:07+00:00March 19th, 2018|Leadership, VUCA|Comments Off on VUCA Leadership Competencies in a Complex Global Environment