The VUCA world of Logistics & Supply chain


The world is changing ever more rapidly, it is becoming harder and harder to predict what is going to happen next. We are for better or for worse increasingly living in a VUCA world.

 Volatile: Things change unpredictably, suddenly, extremely, especially for the worse.

 Uncertain: Important information is not known or definite; doubtful, unclear about the present situation and future outcomes; not able to be relied upon.

Complex: Many different and connected parts: multiple key decision factors, the interaction between diverse agents, emergence, adaptation, coevolution, weak signals.

Ambiguous: Open to more than one interpretation; the meaning of an event can be understood in different ways.

VUCA as a concept that emerged from the military in the 1990s. It describes the “fog of war” — the chaotic conditions that are encountered on a modern battlefield. Just like Sun Tzu’s ancient “Art of war” translates well into the modern business world, so do the concepts of VUCA and how to deal with it to succeed in our modern world.

 In a series of articles over the coming weeks we will be providing insight into how VUCA is impacting the logistics and supply industry and provide tips on how to survive – and thrive – in the “new” VUCA world.

Here are some of the subjects we will be covering:

*  VUCA and the human advantage

*  Strategy in the VUCA world

*  VUCA and the non-lean organisation

*  Redefining agile, the VUCA way

*  Managing change in the VUCA world

*  The value of speed in the VUCA world

*  Leading in the VUCA world

*  Winning in the VUCA world

 The media often refer to the situation today as “the new normal” and stated that way it seems relatively simple, the world has changed, and it is now different – for better or for worse. That works for most of us, we get it, and we can deal with it, mostly by mentally filing it all as “okay, I have dealt with it, now life can go on again”, however, “new normal” with its implied stability is actually a very dangerous term, things are not stable in fact as has been the case through most of history things are getting less and less stable, certain, simple, and transparent.

 When the winds of change blow, some build walls, while others build windmills (Chinese proverb)

It is time to look at things in a new way and use new approaches to surviving and succeeding. We will help you get a leg up on it and provide you with some new thoughts and ways of looking at things – to help you build good windmills.

  Watch this space for the 2nd blog entry coming shortly.