Competition increases for us every day as we face new and complete challenges.

Not only the current historical ones, but also on a daily basis as we now live in a connected society where Internet, smartphones, and social media are a must. These rapid advancements in technology create a digital ecosystem where global markets and businesses struggle to succeed. But there are new possibilities to differentiate our business goals and beliefs, as long as we act quickly to identify the opportunities that this new era has to offer.

The new management model called V.U.C.A. (Volatility – Uncertainty – Complexity – Ambiguity), describes our current business world. This term originated with the United States Army War College to describe the conditions resulting from the Cold War. Since then, the VUCA concept has been adopted by companies and organisations in many industries and sectors in order to guide leadership and strategic planning in all business areas. It has even been adapted to create survival skills for employees in companies that are experiencing rapid changes. This has resulted in a much-needed range of new capabilities which leaders use to operate among uncertainty and ambiguity.

Most of the companies now are thinking about how to keep their products updated but with an outdated practice, making them incapable of foreseeing a promising future. The more they cling to their past ways… the more volatile the present market turns out. Altering business models without calculating the consequences affects not only the organisation itself, but its vision as a whole. How much uncertainty are we able to withstand in our business, professional, political, social and even personal environments?

Design Thinking, however, is a prven and repeatable problem-solving method. One of its key goals is focusing on understanding and solving the real needs of today’s users. Design Thinking speaks of perseverance in maintaining a continuous effort to achieve objectives and seek solutions for withstanding difficulties that will arise along the way, as well as the ability to face frustration and adaptability and flexibility, knowing how to overcome and grow in case of adversity. So, it is one of the best allies when applying it in the VUCA environment of organisations. 

This scenario of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity inherent in the business world is here to stay, it is the “now” of each and every one of us, and its intensity will increase. Some ideas about this Design Thinking – VUCA dichotomy are:

  • The agile beats the big one.
  • Bread for today and hunger for tomorrow. (Companies that work to survive today, without thinking about the future).
  • Each person is unique (client) and demands differentiation.
  • Shared leadership. Not pyramid structure.
  • No one “works for”; now they “work with”.
  • What we do defines who we are.
  • Understanding digital revolution in our private lives and how it’s preparing us for the future.

Whoever is aware about our current VUCA business world, has surely come to reflect on the need to make changes in established ways, breaking paradigms and revolutionizing thoughts. Pablo Errejón , CEO of Grupo Guía , explains in his most recent book, “Embrace the Change” (“Abraza el Cambio”) how organisations must be open to embrace new ideas that allow them to innovate. He proposes the reinvention of the traditional advisor towards the neodigital advisor, defining them as individuals with a winning, fierce mentality, eager to learn and reread the reality where they actually sell. It also explains how innovation is the best antidote to a volatile world, starting with unlearning what is known and willing to change, to embrace it! Thus, the mind is opened to the infinite opportunities of knowledge, technologies and digital business models that will help companies stay relevant throughout this changing reality.

Regardless of the industry, you must find other ways to create certainty for your business in order to mitigate VUCA effects inherent in today’s business environment. Leadership must foster the creative potential of employees with new ways of thinking such as Design Thinking and as taught by Grupo Guía’s director: changing our chip, opening up to the new clients and entering in full the digital world. Listed below are 8 ways to innovate and stay ahead of the competition without getting crushed by the global VUCA environment : 

  1. Be a Knowmad.
  2. Bet on digital transformation.
  3. Work with Exponential Business methods.
  4. Do not lose sight of the fact that VUCA is an “external saboteur”.
  5. Build a versatile, “light footprint” organisation.
  6. Operate in the VUCA world, without being a victim  of the VUCA world.
  7. Being innovative, adaptable and with the capacity for reinvention.
  8. Creating Innovation Centers to be able to adapt as soon as possible to the transformation we are experiencing and to generate new growth opportunities.