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In the socio-political environment, the last decade was characterised by increased levels of conflict, terrorism and infighting. Trust in politicians has decreased worldwide.


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President Trump with his aggressive style of leading one of the top nations in the world has increased volatility world-wide. In South Africa, the current low economic growth, perpetual high level of unemployment fuelling political instability, coupled with unacceptable levels of corruption in government and the private sector, the second half of may be challenging indeed.

Hopefully we will soon know what really happened at Steinhoff and then as a country do everything possible to prevent another corporate scandal. Business leaders, human resource directors and talent managers are expected to continue working towards the achievement of business objectives despite the uncertainty in the broader business environment.

Despite the high level of uncertainty, the need to navigate change and building human capital will remain a top priority in business this year. The ability to be resilient when dealing with uncertainty and to keep on giving direction, leveraging talent and engaging staff and other stakeholders while entering unchartered territories in an increasing uncertain and volatile business environment will be a key capability for survival and success going forward. Furthermore, we need a new type of positivity, one that is much more than simply staying blindly loyal or optimistic despite the chaos around us.

The new positivity will drive new behaviours required to build the new world — people who are active in shaping the future and being able to navigate uncertainty. While Uber created uncertainty for the traditional taxi industry, the Uber client has absolute certainty about the arrival time and route taken by the driver. This new type of digital predictability shows the power of new and disruptive business models rewriting the rules of business in a totally different work and community space in society.

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In fact, the only way of dealing effectively with uncertainty is to see it as an opportunity and not as a threat by shifting your focus and culture to innovation. Being in a permanent state of innovation will help management teams and employees to not only cope, but also thrive when innovation becomes the norm of doing business. Developing progressive mindsets and skills to cope with uncertainty will be the key individual and business differentiator in this uncertain world.

Welcome to the new real world of uncertainty! An earlier version of this article appeared in Talent Talks.

The Light and Fast Organisation: A New Way of Dealing with Uncertainty by Patrick Hollingworth

How Certain are You about Uncertainty? Our inability to answer the following questions with certainty highlights the reality of uncertainty in an increased volatile business, political and socio-economic landscape:. Does President Ramaphosa have sufficient support in making the new dawn a reality? This site uses cookies.

How Certain are You about Uncertainty? by Marius Meyer

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FREE CLASS: How to Deal with Uncertainty

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Changes will take effect once you reload the page. By Puk Falkenberg, 9. September Uncertainty Again, this refers to the unpredictable nature of what could happen in the future. Ambiguity Often, something has more than one possible meaning, thereby it can cause confusion. Entrepreneur: This can be complex and hard to simplify. There can be a high uncertainty about predicting future strategic wins as well as trying to understand the ambiguity and how to evolve. Answering the question of why your organization exist or making impact stories would help you make a direction in your strategic work in a VUCA world.

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Master of white space: Some people have the ability to actually spot and observe things happening around them that no one els spot. And, they are able to do something about them, driving changes. White Space Management is a great example of the opposite of ambiguity. To master that, you must be a gardener of your own ecosystem leading horizontal, such that the dynamics of strengths-based leadership team is nurtured. Are you looking for a coach or a professional mentor?

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VUCA - Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity - has become the dominant mode of modern business, and leaders are overwhelmed. This book proposes an alternative to the VUCA paradigm, one in which we learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, and a model for helping your organisation climb above the fray. Case studies from both business and mountaineering illustrate the benefits and practicalities of becoming light, fast, and agile and underscore the importance of self-awareness and self-reliance in minimising your exposure to risk.

Business and mountaineering share many parallels, including frequent operation outside of the comfort zone. This book shows you the strong skills and effective strategies you need to reach the summit. Leaders must accept the current VUCA state and assess their preparedness, but it's possible to move beyond it by ingraining a 'light and fast' approach at the core of their organisations' values and operations. It's only through reaching beyond the 'safe' zone that we learn what we're made of, and build the foundations for successful leadership and teamwork.


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The Light and Fast Organisation is your practical coach for climbing the mountain, and your guide to the quickest route to the summit. Skip to: Content. Log In.

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