When private companies begin using military jargon to describe their organizational challenges, then it’s clear that something has shifted in the business landscape.
Specifically, the term “VUCA,” is being heard in more private companies, a military term which stands for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. While it once may have been mostly confined to military operations and training, it’s now being bounced around businesses as more teams deal with a volatile and uncertain marketplace.
Three people who are very familiar with the term are Angie Morgan, Courtney Lynch and Sean Lynch, all former military personnel. They now coach companies that want to learn better ways to handle a VUCA landscape by modeling military leadership and organizational strategies.
“We’ve seen more and more companies using the term,” says Morgan, a former Marine. “I think many businesses were caught off guard by the disruption caused by technology and that’s what they’re seeing – VUCA situations.”
Companies also are seeing a change in worker attitudes with these disruptions. Workers are showing a willingness to step outside their comfort zones and embrace new skills that will help them do their jobs more efficiently.
A recent Accenture Strategy report of 10,527 employees in 10 countries finds that 85% of workers are ready to invest their free time in the next six months to learn new skills and 84% say they are optimistic about the impact of digital technology on their jobs. More than two-thirds think that technologies such as data analytics will help them be more efficient, learn new skills and improve the quality of their work.
While such initiative is important to business success, Accenture researchers say that organizations must help workers achieve such goals by investing more in technical and human skills involving creativity and judgment if they want to keep workers engaged and working to find solutions. Research by Gallup makes that case more urgent: only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs, meaning they’re interested enough in their work and their jobs to give 100%.
“The remaining 87% of employees are either not engaged or indifferent — or even worse, are actively disengaged and potentially hostile toward their organizations,” says Ed O’Boyle, Gallup’s global practice leader for workplace and marketplace consulting.
Angie Morgan, one of the authors of The New York Times bestseller “Spark: How to Lead Yourself and Others to Great Success,” agrees that organizations cannot afford to ignore those employees who are willing to take action and make their companies better.
“If by nature someone is initiative-oriented – but is micro-managed (read more here)