S4E77: The 4 Moves in the VUCA World of Projects with Debbie Seunarayan

On this week’s show, we welcomed Debbie Seunarayan to discuss the four moves in the VUCA world of projects. Debbie works with organisations and leadership teams across the world to help them navigate turbulent, volatile and sometimes chaotic environments. She has a particular interest in using creativity, scenario planning, wicked thinking and positive deviance to accelerate an organisation’s journey from strategy to reality, and to enhance its collective strategic thinking capability.  Debbie is the host of the What If Tribe and Shapeshifter Tribe podcasts so be sure to give them a listen. The main topics we discussed on the podcast were as follows: VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.  It dates back to the 1980s and was coined by the US Army War College to describe the state of the world at the end of the Cold War · VUCA is used to describe difficult and chaotic working environments. The main problem is that VUCA is talked about but not acted upon. The last 18 months is a good example of businesses having to work in an uncertain context. The more uncertainty there is can lead people to over managing situations that may not be controllable. Sometimes accepting uncertainty is the best option. The world is changing! Projects will be different in the next 3-5 years – this should be accepted as fact. Four Moves businesses can make in the VUCA world: o Strategy – using scenario planning and what-if scenarios. Create a range of possible paths or a supple strategy! o Culture – Create a compelling culture. Successful organisations have a culture that transcends all the sub-cultures o Innovation – Typically find a “wicked problem”. Find a far-ranging problem and use what-if planning to reach a “cause” that can drive the culture o Magical movement – Purpose based, cause-driven. Changing strategy during the project execution phase is costly.  It is worth stopping to properly assess what is going on around the project in order to review the strategy. As a leader, if the results from feedback loops tell you something different to what is expected then it is time to stop and review. Businesses need to be as inclusive as possible when working in an uncertain environment in order to engender staff to think like leaders. Rather than creating a solution, aim to fall in love with the problem. This can make shifts in the problem rather than solutions being outdated within weeks. Projects can tend to make problems transactional when the real issue stems from poor culture. People with ADHD can often be the best shapeshifters in an organisation! The best businesses have an identity and constantly seek to improve. Trust employees to be autonomous and manage risks. Aim to bring in cross-sector experts when working through problems to achieve a true diversity of thought. If there is a movement that goes in its own direction, it can be successful, however, it is likely to fail if the strategic and cultural implications are not considered. Businesses need to help people see the risks of going in the wrong strategic direction or not taking advantage of the latest market disrupters e.g. Blockbusters and Netflix Here are links to some of the topics that were discussed: Shapeshifter is available on Amazon SHAPESHIFTER: How to master the art of working with the future: Amazon. Proudly Sponsored by:  PlanAcademy.com JustDo.com InEight.com --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/project-chatter-podcast/message

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Welcome to Project Chatter,  the podcast where project professionals, specialists and experts from various sectors talk about the latest trends in project management and PMO. Listen to Val and Dale as they talk about tried and tested best practices and share their unfiltered thoughts about the industry. Whether you're here to learn how to progress your career, improve your project controls skills, or just want to hear an Aussie and South African rant about projects, then you've come to the right place. Welcome to the Project Chatter Podcast, with your hosts Dale Foong and Val Matthews.