Leadership in a VUCA World

Leadership in a VUCA world


We are living in a VUCA world.

Are you VUCA ready?

What does VUCA stand for?

The “V” in the VUCA acronym stands for volatility. It means the nature, speed, volume, and magnitude of change that is not in a predictable pattern (Sullivan, 2012 January 16). Volatility is turbulence, a phenomenon that is occurring more frequently than in the past.

The “U” in the VUCA acronym stands for uncertainty, or the lack of predictability in issues and events (Kinsinger & Walch, 2012). These volatile times make it difficult for leaders to use past issues and events as predictors of future outcomes, making forecasting extremely difficult and decision-making challenging (Sullivan, 2012 January 16).

The “C” in VUCA stands for complexity. As HR thought leader John Sullivan notes (2012 January 16), there are often numerous and difficult-to-understand causes and mitigating factors (both inside and outside the organization) involved in a problem. This layer of complexity, added to the turbulence of change and the absence of past predictors, adds to the difficulty of decision making. It also leads to confusion, which can cause ambiguity, the last letter in the acronym.

The “A” means ambiguity or the lack of clarity about the meaning of an event (Caron, 2009). As Sullivan writes, the “causes and the ‘who, what, where, how, and why’ behind the things that are happening (that) are unclear and hard to ascertain.” (2012 January 16). Col. Eric G. Kail defines ambiguity in the VUCA model as the “inability to accurately conceptualize threats and opportunities before they become lethal.”

An Overview

If you are among the many strategic leaders frustrated with your inability to anticipate and handle the volatility and the speed of change in the talent management environment, you should take a few minutes to understand VUCA. VUCA best describes the volatile and chaotic business, economic, and physical environment that we all now face. Many in talent management have been hoping that this chaos is a short-term phenomenon, but it is a permanent condition that we must all learn how to manage under.

Assesment Based Workshop

Charles May, using competency based assessment technology, developed the VUCA profile to identify talent and development needs. Participants will be requested to complete a 20 min. online assessment (Harrison Assessment) prior to the event day, to receive their individual VUCA Profile during the workshop.

The VUCA Profile will reflect the individual’s tendency to skillfully face discord or strife, and the interpersonal skills necessary to deal with it effectively.

Who should attend:

Business leaders, Department Heads, Coaches, HR leaders, Learning & Development Leaders

Learning Objectives

  • How to lead in an environment of speed, volume, and magnitude of change that is not in a predictable pattern
  • How to lead within the lack of predictability in issues and events
  • How to understand causes and mitigating factors involved in a problem
  • Measure your leadership readiness in a VUCA world
  • Learn to collaborate in a VUCA world
  • Surround yourself with VUCA ready leaders
  • Prepare your VUCA success plan

About Charles May

Charles May, Author of “Are You VUCA Ready?”

Charles-1Charles May has a varied International business background covering Sales & Marketing, Project Management and HR ranging from Recruitment to training and development with senior management. His ability to communicate effectively and adopt a structured approach led him into management training in areas of appraisal, conflict management, performance management and leadership.

He helps companies to:

  • Identify, attract and recruit the best talent.
  • Identify performance and job success enablers and de-railers.
  • Engage, retain and unleash the strengths of your top talent.
  • Apply analytics to identify talent capability pipelines.
  • Achieve business results through performance benchmarking.
  • Accelerate talent development.

Some of the major projects he has been involved in prior to joining Harrison Assessments:

  • The re-development of a 15 Million pound company that was taken out of receivership, which included facilitation in creation of strategy, Team building and leadership development of the senior team. Creation of a new appraisal system, company hand book etc.
  • Training of child protection unit – focused on a 3 day team building course to create the team environment.
  • Set up and running a software business within a law firm to provide HR software and consultancy to clients.
  • Dealing with the fall out after 5 major security companies came together in a merger.
  • Major recruitment campaigns, including headhunting for blue chip companies.
  • Management of the entire communication systems for the South Africa Parliaments in Cape Town – dealing with state security, ministers, members of parliament etc.
  • The building of multiple sales teams made up from over 1000 sales agents.
  • Creation of an English newspaper in Portugal and hosting an English talk show on Portuguese radio.

Ticket Pricing


Wednesday, 23 November 2016
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM


Standard Price Full Programme
Per Delegate
AED 2500 US$ 681


Venue: Oberoi Hotel Dubai

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