7 Must-Haves for Leaders in a VUCA world

Today’s business world is different than it used to be, requiring business leaders to have new sets of skills to succeed. The sheer amount of responsibility that CEOs now must face can be incredibly overwhelming. The term that many apply to this concept is VUCA, which stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. This concept shows how the state of the world is in constant flux, which makes leading far more difficult. However, having the right tools can make that prospect a little easier. Let me share with you today some tools many successful entrepreneurs, young leaders and progressive startup founders use that can help you stay in control no matter how uncertain or complex a situation may seem.

1. 360° Talking

In an uncertain environment, communication skills are easily able to make any situation better. Thus, today’s entrepreneurs need to be able to ask the right questions to determine the problem, delegate tasks to the right people or departments and explain how their knowledge and skills can resolve the situation. These skills can reduce the uncertainty of many situations and bring a level of control to an otherwise ambiguous situation.

2. Uber-Management

To get into a CEO position or any position of leadership, people must have above-average management skills. However, in today’s world, it is more important than ever before. Projects have more facets than they used to, with more people in multiple locations and with a plethora of cultural backgrounds required to make those projects successful. Juggling these facets, the people, the budgets and all of the details require someone who can manage a lot while still staying focused on the final objectives.

3. Talent Combination

As mentioned, today’s projects are more complicated than ever before with more people involved. Getting these people to work together is one of the most effective ways of reducing the unknowns of any project while still achieving peak performance. People may be in the office, work remotely or some combination of both, making the ability to get these teams working together essential — and success critical!

4. Lateral And Critical Thinking

Some people accuse millennial entrepreneurs and young leaders of not having lateral or critical thinking skills that are on the same level as those of workers in the generations before them. The question, though, is not which generation is better at problem thinking. The key question is how to improve personal development skills to be able to see what is going on and come up with solutions. It’s critical to alter these solutions to fit a myriad of problems, and people need to be able to implement these solutions into the problems effectively. If one solution does not work to reduce the problem, the solutions will need to undergo alterations to work as imagined.

5. Collaborative Know-How

One of the most sought-after skills for current entrepreneurs and successful leaders is collaboration. This needs to be within the company, with customers or clients and with any other stakeholders. Doing it right allows for increased company performance, as well as more innovative solutions for the company to bring to the market.

6. Underutilized Inspiration

Being inspirational is something that many overlook when it comes to leadership. Today’s CEOs — more than ever before — need to be role models that employees can emulate. Doing so boosts the organization’s culture and allows for a more cohesive experience when a customer or client works with people at different levels within the company. Plus, it allows everyone in the company to reach out in an attempt to reach the same goals.

7. Vital Flexibility

Stress is an inevitable result of the constant change that comes with today’s business environment. Point taken! That is why flexibility is so vital to successful CEOs. It helps avoid some of the stress that comes with these fluctuations and allows for a more agile way of working. Additional plus: Being flexible and working with agile tools is the only way to stay current with fast-moving market trends and consumer behaviors. Evolution is going to happen during every role that we play, so if you want to become a high performer, you need to be flexible enough to evolve with it.

The more of these skills that young entrepreneurs learn to master, the less the VUCA world is going to challenge them. When your goal is to have more healthy high performance in your life as an entrepreneur or young leader, let’s focus on these seven must-haves to surpass even your own expectations and learn to be the leader your company wants and deserves! Reach out to us at braininspa today and let’s jointly work on your skills – because we care for you!

This article was originally published on Forbes.com in October 2019.

How to successfully maneuver your business by creating a smart strategy

A couple of years ago, organizations of all sizes were proud to have their high-caliber strategy department where some young and not-so-young smart brains thought about the best direction for the company given the current situation, anticipated challenges, and upcoming trends. Today things are different. The same companies face fundamental strategic uncertainties, which question the basis of their business models. How will this impact strategy work at your company? Well, consider those 4 key trends we see today in setting the right priorities for your company’s future

1) Digital is really your biggest challenge! 
Although this term resounded throughout the land over the last months and years, it is still the most important challenge to master. This 4th industrial revolution will shake existing business models and supply chains to a level where they collapse or re-invent themselves. It is not a question of which industry you belong to because digital does not stop at music, taxi or retail! It needs smart answers to managing these disruptions – sitting, waiting and watching  are NOT an option!

2) Expect a death in a decade!
More than half of the business models that you know today won’t be successful nor possible in the future. The question we are so used to about our USP and our competitive advantage is no more critical but will be replaced by a temporary advantage. Bundling the right services, products and channels for a period of time in order to serve existing consumer needs is the new approach.

3) Change your strategy development!
There aren’t only new requirements regarding your strategy development when it comes to the content but also for the process of doing so. Prepare for systematical and analytical capabilities combined with a big portion of flexibility. Allowing for and learning by mistakes is not a lip service but existing practice. To plan is one thing and will be still necessary but always leave room in your best plan for some spontaneous adjustments.

4) Strategy is a team approach!
Days are gone when the smartest brains in your strategy department were considered the “Gods in suits” nor is it the task of your c-suite team to define the strategy and then delegate down the hierarchy to execute. Make all your employees – regardless of education, generation and location- part of the process. Even expand your strategy development team to the vertical and horizontal supply chain partners where appropriate.

If you and your company’s strategy team feel a bit like Columbus and his team with a wooden armada sent to discovering virgin soul, make sure you don’t fall in love with your Santa Maria but adjust the ship, the material of your boat, the route and the crew constantly to explore and enjoy one competitive advantage after the other.