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VUCA illustration: Examples of Volatility (a stock-like chart), Complexity (a circuit-like confusion), Uncertainty (a direction splitting into 3) and a person sweating over Ambiguity (a Necker cube).


VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.

The VUCA framework is a reminder to consider how to lead and adapt to the challenges of living in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.

In his book Leaders Make the Future, futurist Bob Johansen provides counterpoints to each that leaders can use:

  • Volatility yields to Vision
  • Uncertainty yields to Understanding
  • Complexity yields to Clarity
  • Ambiguity yields to Agility

We live in a VUCA world, but we can handle it.

The VUCA framework originated in the US Army War College.

VUCA is an acronym, as opposed to an initialism. Also see OODA Loop.

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