What VUCA means for Learning & Development Practitioners - Part 1

Fri 08 May 2015

Blog Author
Emily Allen
Product Manager - HR & L&D

Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity are becoming the new “norms” of business. These challenges have come collectively to be known as ‘VUCA’ and are causing concern for businesses of all sizes.

In this atmosphere of crisis, however, there is an opportunity for Learning and Development (L&D) practitioners to make change smoother for their organisations.

So how can you turn Volatility into Vision, Uncertainty into Understanding, Complexity into Clarity and Ambiguity into Agility?

A starting point is to understand the current state of play and the specific challenges that a VUCA environment poses for L&D practitioners. As L&D practitioners, we need to up our game in preparing and supporting staff for change.

A recent research report by the CIPD and the Towards Maturity consultancy;  ’L&D: Evolving roles, enhancing skills‘(CIPD, April 2015) provides an analytical framework and case study evidence that we can use to plan a way forward.

MOL believes in keeping ahead of future developments and in our topic taster session “A Personal Toolkit for L&D Practitioners: leading change in a VUCA world” we will use the CIPD/Towards Maturity report as a framework to challenge our thinking..  

There are four key areas to be explored:

  1. Alignment and resources – are you agile, do you add value, how do you best organise your L&D function?  Have you thought about your own organisational context, do you use your resources in the most efficient way?
  2. Evolution of roles and responsibilities – Are you looking at your data, do you know where the L&D world will be in 2 years’ time?  If you stand still, will you be left behind?  What does your move from learning delivery to performance consultancy mean?
  3. Building skills and capabilities – How much time do you spend developing your own capability?  If you have introduced the technology, and have little idea how to use it how will you take your organisation forward with confidence?  Are social and online learning where you have your biggest skill gaps?
  4. Driving change – Are you there to help your employees make sense of change?  Are you aware of future developments, do you evaluate the impact of wider changes, use evidence, data and analytical thinking to help you make sense of change and prioritise action?

The report also identifies five personal action planning requirements:

  • business and commercial understanding
  • digital-savvy skills
  • performance consulting
  • content curation
  • analytical capability

Our interactive Topic Taster Session will guide you through these exciting concepts to help you to form your personal action plan.

You will leave inspired, and you will inspire your L&D colleagues, as your toolkit will be better equipped to lead the constant change in this VUCA world.

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