What is VUCA?

What is VUCA?

The term VUCA has become very common in business and it’s probably never been as relevant as it is right now. The VUCA acronym stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity and is used to describe situations that are difficult to understand, making it hard to predict the outcomes of any actions taken.

Simply put, VUCA is a way of saying, “Things are hard to understand and predict at the moment!” and while this sentiment is often true, VUCA can help provide some structure and clarity around the problems that an organisation might face. One danger of VUCA however, is that people use it as a way of avoiding planning and strategy by focusing on the idea that you can’t plan for a VUCA world.

Where does VUCA come from?

VUCA was first introduced as an idea in the late 1980’s by the US Army War College who used the concept to develop strategic leaders. In 1991, Herbert Barber officially used the term in his article in the Journal of Management Development titled, “Developing strategic leadership: The US Army War College experience.” where he stated that the college derived these ideas from the book of Warren Bennis and Burt Namus Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge.

In Barber’s article, it was established that the war college decided to use the VUCA acronym as a way to help their students (typically senior military officers) characterise the turbulent times they would face as they progressed into strategic roles. In military context, the acronym was used primarily to mark the early situation in Afghanistan at that time, which was hard to predict.

The idea of VUCA was soon picked up by the civilian community who began to realise that elements of VUCA also applied to the volatile markets and difficult conditions that businesses often face. The VUCA concept began being applied to boardroom discussions where it influenced decision making and was used as a method of understanding where there was a lack of predictability and so helping improve business performance.

What does VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) mean?

The four components of VUCA can be summarised as follows…

Volatility is about the increasing pace of change, whether that be in the markets, the industry or in the world in general. It’s clear that things change constantly and even the way that things change is changing. In recent times, this volatility has been magnified by both technological advancement and globalisation. It’s also noted that the more volatile the world is, the more things change and what is right today, may not be right tomorrow.

Uncertainty is about the extent that we can reasonably predict the future. We can’t rely on our capacity to identify what will happen in a business environment and the more uncertain things are, the harder they are to predict. It is becoming harder and harder to forecast what is going to happen and the likelihood of surprises has risen.

Complexity is about the many different and interconnected parts of problems that we face. The more elements of an issue or environment there are, the more difficult it becomes to analyse and come to a rational solution. Where things are complex, an action can have consequences that are not foreseen.

Ambiguity is about not having enough clarity regarding a problem to make an informed decision about it. Information may be incomplete, contradicting or too inaccurate to draw definite conclusions. Where there is ambiguity, you are facing the unknown with a lack of clarity, no simple answers and multiple layers to problems and the current situation.

How is VUCA useful in a business setting?

Developing a good understanding of VUCA can help modern leaders better appreciate the rapidly changing landscape in the current business world and the challenges that leaders face. It’s important that today’s leaders understand the expectations placed on them and to ensure they have the abilities and mindset to adapt to these challenges. These leaders need to be adaptable and have the appropriate mental and emotional skills to manage uncertainty and risk.

Aside from helping prepare leaders, VUCA can act as a checklist of the key factors an organisation should be considering with their decision making. It gives some clarity about the issues faced and helps to focus on the knowns and unknowns in the context of business challenges faced both internally and externally.

A useful checklist is the VUCA Matrix, which was developed in 2014 by Nathan Bennet and G. James Lemoine and published in a short article at the Harvard Business Review. It demonstrates the four VUCA elements working in relationship with each other.

This matrix is a useful guide to help you identify, get ready for, and respond to events in each of the four VUCA categories.

Why is VUCA important?

VUCA provides a model that helps people understand the reality of the challenges faced by businesses and organisations that they may feel they have little control over. It helps them to understand that the VUCA world is a common factor in both life and business, so learning to navigate them is crucial to long term success.

VUCA will always impact the decision making process for organisations and the people within them. It will affect how they make plans, manage risks, adapt to change and solve problems. We can’t necessarily rely on the old methods of forecasting and planning and so need to adapt our methods and approach these issues in new and creative ways. It helps us to devise plans that are able to adapt to constant changes and flex where flex is needed.

Ultimately, VUCA helps us to realise that old ways of working cannot be relied upon and to succeed in a VUCA world means being agile and having the ability to adapt to the changing winds. Our journey is not always going to be linear and there has become a real need to live in the moment and change when needed.


Trainer Bubble provide an e-learning course that helps develop your employees knowledge and understanding of VUCA. Visit the link to find out more. You can also explore VUCA in unison with other useful tools with our VUCA, Agile and Scrum e-learning course.



Courtesy Andrew Wood






5 Tips For Running A Successful Business

Let’s start with understanding Business.
What is Business?

Elon Musk once said that your business is like your baby. One time in his career, he was in a catch 22 situation where he had only a substantial amount of money left which could fund only one of the two companies. If he decides to put all his money in one company then the other must die and vice-versa.

Thankfully, both the companies survived the abysmal situation and are now making a huge fortune. Taking the idea from the above-mentioned situation, what we can observe is that the life of a business person or an entrepreneur is far more difficult and different from that of a normal human being taking everyday decisions by being an employee of someone else.

The way you see things, the way you make decisions, and the way you act upon those decisions is entirely different in a different shoe. 

But how do you think you can start a successful business up and running without even an inch of difficulty coming your way?

The answer to this may be different at different platforms and it might be all-pervasive. But one thing is sure, no matter how big a person you are or how big your business may be you ought to face difficulties!

 A business is an organization comprising people who strive together to achieve common objectives and goals. It is important for a business organization to have a vision that implies what it intends to achieve in the future and values that represent the organization’s integrity.

A business organization is a commercial, industrial, or mercantile enterprise, and comprises the people who constitute it. Business is a legally recognized organization that provides goods, services, or both to the consumers.

The fundamental idea regarding business is that it is an economic activity where the products or services are exchanged for money in order to solve one or more purposes.

The purpose of every business is to serve customers well. It has to deliver value by offering good quality goods/services at an affordable price. To survive and flourish in the economic jungle, businesses have to win the hearts of customers by putting resources to the best use. Businesses, essentially, exist for customers.

How to run a successful business?










Running a successful business is simple if you start with a strong foundation. This includes:

  1.   Ideation and Developing a Business Plan.
  2.   Business Research and narrowing to one, which best suits you and the market.
  3.   Understanding customer challenges and needs.
  4.   Market psyche and demands.
  5.   Your uniqueness and approach.
  6. Continuous learning and improvement.
  7.   Adapting the latest tools and technologies.

How to run a small business successfully?

If you are running a small business, the following points should be considered on priority:

  1.  Your trust.
  2.  Your reach.
  3.  Your serviceability.
  4.  Your relationships.
  5.  Your credibility.

Running a small business becomes easier if you make yourself genuine in words and actions.

How to make a successful online business?

A successful online business needs more credibility than that of an offline business. Three key parameters work here the most:

  1. Your visibility on the online platforms i.e., your website, your social media channels, your online promotions etc.
  2. Your irresistible offerings to your customers are laded with freebies and additional benefits which kills the objections.
  3. A proper service/support system.

How to build a strong brand identity?

A brand identity is an image and the perception formed in the customer’s mind. To build a strong brand identity, you have to do the following:

  1.   Start working in an exclusive domain i.e., your micro-niche.
  2.   Be genuine and give more value to your customers than expected.
  3.   Be active and keep engaging your audience on different platforms by asking suggestions, motivating, polls and quizzes etc.
  4.   Showcase testimonials and ask for genuine feedback from real customers. Don’t fake it.
  5.   Accept your mistakes and keep improving the systems, processes and flaws.

Who are your best and worst customers?


The best customers are those, who buy once and start trusting you for more such transactions. They become repeat customers and they demand for more and more. They are the people who would help you create newer and better products with their feedbacks and demands.

There is no one as a worst. Either the expectations are not made clear or they don’t need your products/services. These people are just spectators or explorers.

You should know where to invest your time and energy. Not everyone would be your customer, for sure.

Keys to a successful business

Success is a result of consistent efforts in the right direction and right perspective. It is followed by research and efforts.

Simple keys to a successful business are:

  1.   Understand who you are?
  2.   What is your USP?
  3.   Why a customer would buy from you?
  4.   What is the pain behind the pain? What problems or challenges are you going to solve with your product/services?
  5.   How intense is the pain of your customer?

How to know who are your customers?

An interesting fact is that a customer doesn’t tell you the real problem but needs a solution. He buys you first in his mind and then moves ahead for your products/services.

To know who your customer is, you need to be one of his best friends. Here are the steps to know who your customers can be:

  1. Listen with empathy.
  2. Connect genuinely.
  3. Provide a solution with authority.
  4. Talk about several such solutions which you have given in the past, with whom he could connect easily.
  5. Show him the benefits of your products/services which are solving his problems. The bridging is of utmost importance.


What makes a business profitable?

In simple terms when your intake from your customers is more than the expenses that occurred, your business is profitable.

But ultimately that is the outcome. The factors which make the business profitable are as follows:

  1.   Your USP/ your uniqueness.
  2.   Your team and the people around you.
  3.   Your helping approach towards your customers.
  4.   Your understanding of your customers and the market demands.
  5.   Your continuous improvement strategy to give your customers “THE BEST”.

What makes a business more likely to succeed?

There is neither a Cake-Cutter formula nor a red/blue pill to business success. It’s unique for every industry and it varies with every product/service.

A business is more likely to succeed when you build trust and live up to the trust of your customers through your unique products and services which either help them to resolve their worries/challenges or provide them with an opportunity to become better versions of themselves.

You have moved above your penny-pincher approach towards helping your customers.

What are the 5 major business functions?


Right from ideation to the ultimate delivery of the products/services to the customers, every business function is critical. Out of those, the 5 major business functions are:

  1. Marketing – The creation and maintenance of exchange relationships
  2. Management – The team, the bosses; the decision-makers
  3. Operations – The day-to-day activities of an organization
  4. Production – Creating or obtaining products for sale
  5. Finance – Managing financial resources and records

along with resources, goods and services, and scarcity.

What are the qualities of a good business?

A good business comes from the combination of your heart and mind both.

Here are the top 10 qualities of a good business:

ü  Willingness to take chances

ü  Unique value

ü  Tenacity

ü  Customer-centric approach

ü  Good marketing

ü  Strong vision

ü  Passionate leaders

ü  Empowered employees

ü  Adaptability

ü  Diversity

Is there a formula for successful entrepreneurs?









Yes, there are formulas for successful entrepreneurs. These formulas have been tested by more than 20K successful business owners/entrepreneurs. Here are they:

Formula #1: G = E*H*C


G – Growing your Business

E- Explore your customer

H – Help your customer

C – Choose your customer


Formula #2: K = W1*W2*H


K – Knowing to do

W1 – What to do?

W2 – Why to do?

H – How to do?


Formula #3: R = U*D1*D2


R – Running a Successful Business

U – Understanding your TIME WORTH

D1 – Doing things by yourself

D2 – Delegating or outsourcing to someone else.


Formula #4: Six Sigma Rule = D*M*A*I*C


D – Define

M – Measure

A – Analyze

I – Improve

C – Control


Formula #5: I = I1*I2*I3


I – Inspire the World

I1 – Innovate

I2 – Invent

I3 – Improve and Implement

Successful business during lockdown:

At the start of the pandemic, online orders rocketed for the industries improving life in lockdown. Almost one year on, we explore how these industries are faring now.

Back in March 2020, products ranging from pasta kits and pyjamas to exercise equipment and ergonomic chairs flew off the online shelves. As well as buying from online brands, people were recommending them to others.

Based on the data we captured, we found the following industries booming during the lockdown and they are continuing to grow.

ü  Food & drink

ü  Health & Fitness

ü  Gifts & occasions

ü  Home & garden

ü  Fashion

ü  Coaching/Business planning for the future

How is brand identity linked to target users?

Brand identity is the noticeable elements of a brand (for instance – Trademark colour, logo, name, symbol) that identify and differentiate a brand in the target audience mind. It is a crucial means to grow your company’s brand. Brand identity is the aggregation of what all you (i.e. an organization) do.

Brand identity stems from an organization, i.e., an organization is responsible for creating a distinguished product with unique characteristics. It is how an organization seeks to identify itself. It represents how an organization wants to be perceived in the market.

An organization communicates its identity to the consumers through its branding and marketing strategies. A brand is unique due to its identity. Brand identity includes the following elements – Brand vision, brand culture, positioning, personality, relationships, and presentations.

Brand identity is a bundle of mental and functional associations with the brand. Associations are not “reasons-to-buy” but provide familiarity and differentiation that’s not replicable getting it. These associations can include signature tune (for example – Britannia “ting-ting-ta-ding”), trademark colours (for example – Blue colour with Pepsi), logo (for example – Nike), tagline (for example – Apple’s tagline is “Think different”), etc.

Brand identity is the total proposal/promise that an organization makes to consumers. The brand can be perceived as a product, a personality, a set of values, and a position it occupies in consumers’ minds.

Brand identity is all that an organization wants the brand to be considered as. It is a feature linked with a specific company, product, service or individual. It is a way of externally expressing a brand to the world.

Brand identity is the aggregation of what all you (i.e. an organization) do. It is an organizations mission, personality, promise to the consumers and competitive advantages. It includes the thinking, feelings and expectations of the target market/consumers. It is a means of identifying and distinguishing an organization from another. An organization having a unique brand identity have improved brand awareness, a motivated team of employees who feel proud working in a well-branded organization, active buyers, and corporate style.

Brand identity leads to brand loyalty, brand preference, high credibility, good prices and good financial returns. It helps the organization to express to the customers and the target market the kind of organization it is. It assures the customers again that you are who you say you are. It establishes an immediate connection between the organization and consumers.

Brand identity should be sustainable. It is crucial so that the consumers instantly correlate with your product/service.

Brand identity should be futuristic, i.e, it should reveal the associations aspired for the brand. It should reflect the durable qualities of a brand.

Brand identity is a basic means of consumer recognition and represents the brand’s distinction from its competitors.