Leading Transformation in a VUCA World

By Barb Ruess posted 11-03-2023 12:47 PM


In a world marked by constant volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (“VUCA”), managing change has become more challenging than ever. In our recent CXR Lecture on Leading Transformation, Roeland Dikker Hupke offered valuable insights on navigating these tumultuous waters, shedding light on the critical elements of vision, understanding, and empathy. Here are some key takeaways from the lecture: 

Roeland began by stressing the importance of possessing a clear vision that combines both the positive future state and the negative current state to tackle volatility head-on.

Also highlighted was the importance of communication throughout the change process, even when the exact outcomes remain uncertain. Transparency, Roeland emphasized, is a cornerstone in fostering trust and engagement.

To counterbalance the uncertainty that often accompanies change, Roeland stressed the need for understanding and empathy. Change leaders should not only communicate the 'what' and 'how' but also connect the shift to personal values, making it more engaging and inspiring.

A crucial point in the discussion revolved around change leaders embodying the very change they advocate for. Leaders need to acknowledge their struggles with change, demonstrating authenticity and vulnerability. Honesty about potential losses is as important as highlighting benefits.

The lecture also emphasized the emotional aspects of change and the significance of making employees feel heard and involved in the change process. Employee engagement improves when they sense their voices matter.

In the ever-evolving VUCA world, managing change requires a multi-faceted approach. Roeland suggests shifting our view of VUCA to Vision, Understanding, Clarity, and Agility. A poignant quote he shared from Eric Hoffer, “In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists,” demonstrates the importance of a learning mindset in leadership. 

The insights shared in this lecture provide a valuable roadmap for leaders striving to navigate the complexities of change with grace and success. We’ve only scratched the surface of Roeland’s insights, so check out the full lecture here in your CXR Library.




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