Volatile Uncertain Complex Ambiguous
The world as we know it can be understood using the acronym VUCA: volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.
What do each of these words demand of us?
- Volatility requires extra margins so that energy, time and resource don’t run out during unexpected crises. Keeping good boundaries should include the (five in this case) cornerstones of the whare: taha wairua (spiritual health), taha whānau (relational health), taha tinana (physical health), taha hinengaro (intellectual health) and taha pütea (financial health) – and probably other areas too.
- Uncertainty requires resting deeply in identity. We might not know what the heck is going on, but we can take comfort in the fact that we’re called, empowered and sustained for such a time as this. Also, sometimes offence is the best form of defence. We have the potential and power within us to thrive in this new world.
- Complexity requires an adaptive spirit, a fertile and conversational thought-world, and the freedom to move with speed and skill.
- Ambiguity requires us to see that we actually don’t have the answers already, and that’s OK. It’s impossible to know what will ‘work’ or not. In an age where precedents don’t exist, we’re to embrace both systematic and spontaneous experimentation. Our mindset must be for adventure; our eyes toward the horizon; our attitude one of bravery.
In a VUCA world we get to be vibrantly and undeniably confident, assured that our best days are ahead of us.
“So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit…” (Acts 13:4)
This post was intially published on Candour, a blog of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ), which has been discontinued. You can view the archived version here: https://web.archive.org/web/20201020060713/https://candour.presbyterian.org.nz/2018/05/08/volatile-uncertain-complex-ambiguous/