“I wish someone had told me” is a series of posts that feed into our inquisitive nature at CN&CO. Each week we hear from someone in our network about something interesting or surprising that’s recently happened or occurred to them – or lessons they learnt. These blogs are a way to pay it forward and form part of CN&CO’s belief that the world can be a better place – and we all have a responsibility to make it so. This week’s post is by Joshua Nuttall.
VUCA for short.
According to Wikipedia, “VUCA is an acronym – first used in 1987, drawing on the leadership theories of Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus – to describe or to reflect on the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of general conditions and situations”
It’s a concept and term that seems rather applicable for the times that we are navigating.
In writing this blog and thinking about its framing I was drawn to the word “vuka” a Xhosa word that means to get up or wake up. I studied Xhosa growing up in the Eastern Cape and learnt many life lessons from a Xhosa teach who challenged the conventional mould of a teacher – immersing us in world of Xhosa learning when we stepped into the classroom. You may think that I was drawn to it because if you say “VUCA” and “vuka” they sound similar. The reason I linked the two was because it reminded me of choices that we make.
In dealing with challenging and uncertain circumstances, one can sometimes retreat and go into self-protection mode. A crisis is tough, but how we respond to the circumstances and what we learn from them is what will help us build a better tomorrow.
So as we grow, change, adapt, solve and expand… let’s vuka. We have a lot to give the world and all have a part to play in helping to make it a better place.
If you are interested in learning more about this concept, here is a guide to identifying, getting ready for, and responding to events in each of the four VUCA categories.