Corona Virus has clearly demonstrated us that it’s simply impossible to continue living with a ‘status quo’ mindset in the new world. In fact, it’s revealed a reality starkly, which we’ve already been experiencing for decades.
- It is A-VUCA Era.
The term is an expression of an (A)ccelerated, (V)olatile, (U)ncertain, (C)haotic and an (A)mbiguous world. In such a globally interconnected world, when one country sneezes, another catches pneumonia; now is the time to transform into a more effective struggle for a ‘sustainable business’, rather than sticking to a short-termed, opportunist one.
The effects of the global financial crisis that emerged just 10-12 years ago still lingers, wave by wave, era by era. Terror attacks, individual attacks on masses, regional wars, epidemics, the decline of once on the rise BRIC countries, USA-China Trade Wars, Brexit process, Russian-Saudi Petrol Crisis… The period we are currently in, isn’t only shaped by the hands of people, but by the nature’s as well. Climate change and uncountable natural disasters are only live evidences.
Let us add a bit more to Albert Einstein’s quote: ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them’, ‘… and not with accustomed convenances and approaches either’. Ambiguity and chaos are much more prevalent than ever.
So, how does the business world deal with the A-VUCA era?
- It is Time to Talk About ‘Fixed’ and ‘Growth’ Mindsets.
Preserving the status quo, is a common human attitude. We tend to continue our efforts to maintain our current agenda, without snow on the door. Up until the foreseen risk becomes threat; and the threat actualizes in real sense…
- Transition to Agile and Flexible Management, is the Key.
Survival of a sustainable business depends on the transition to a completely new – AGILE and FLEXIBLE – management style. An AGILE and FLEXIBLE management exhibits the ‘growth mindset’ in essence. We’re talking about an approach that cares about information and suggestions, questions, explores, is open to new ideas, and one that is able to develop alternatives, and act on them when the need arises.
- In Order to Position Ourselves According to the Situation…
…in an ambiguous environment, it’s essential to first make sense of what’s going on in a true and realistic manner, then to foresee what might be coming.
The effort to make sense is most easy when we listen to experts and follow what is happening on the subject. For example, the case of Corona Virus is primarily a threat towards human health and life. Thus, we need to take ‘scientific, medical authorities and bodies’ into account. Moreover, we need to specifically understand their arguments ‘based on real data and information’.
Even while evaluating the data, those experts may have differing perspectives. While they are certainly valuable, it may as well create more confusion and even lead to dead-ends. It’s best to perform ‘due diligence’ based on information and data first.
- Scenario Planning is the First Step to Transition into a Business with Options and That Can Commission Rapidly.
At this stage, for instance on the case of Corona Virus case, it is required to develop Assumptions and Scenarios (eg. Best, Realistic and Worst Case) on Social and Economic planes. For example, our Best-case Scenario could be Quick Recovery and our Worst-case Scenario could be Global Contraction. While in the case of Quick Recovery, managing the situation with short-termed measures during the ‘transition period’ would suffice; the case of Global Contraction would trigger a process of exploring the means of survival and point out to more radical and permanent measures in the long term.
Right after that, in different Scenarios, we need to foresee how much and in what ways our business would be impacted. Many dimensions of our business, for example our Financial Position (Cash Flow, Receivables, Debts, Business Results etc.), Stakeholders (Customers, Employees, Suppliers, Business Partners etc.), Resources (Workforce, Time, Facilities, Machines etc.), the Business itself (Supply Chain, Procurement, Manufacturing, Operations, Sales, Trade, Services etc.), Organization, Products and Services, are certainly going to be affected. In doing so, assessing the probable effects of each Factor, putting forth measures with options, and deciding on possible Action Plans would be much easier. A business that adopts such a Scenario Planning, can easily foresee when to do what, by engaging each of its Departments.
In short, the winners of the A-VUCA world, are going to be the ones who have foresight, ones who can develop alternatives, and the ones who can engage their stakeholders in the right way, at the right time!