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Business is always a struggle. There are always obstacles and competitors. There is never an open road, except the wide road that leads to failure. Every great success has always been achieved by fight. Every winner has scars…. Those who succeed are the efficient few. They are the few who have the ambition and will-power to develop themselves.
-Herbert N. Casson
Each day in business brings challenges that can be noted as struggle or accomplishment. Finishing the game is what is matters. I remember the wise words of Aristotle… “Well begun is half done.”
“Whole cultures could now be programmed to keep their emotional climate stable in the same way that we have begun to know something about maintaining equilibrium in the commercial economies of the world.”
Marshall McLuhan in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, 1964, writing about the ability to manipulate people’s emotional state by managing and coordinating broadcast content via electronic media (radio and television at the time).
We must become the change we want to see in the world.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
“The storms come and go, the waves crash overhead, the big fish eat the little fish, and I keep on paddling.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings
“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
― Bruce Lee
All business leaders must deal with the constantly changing landscape of negotiations, finances, employees, errors, failures and occasional successes. VUCA is an acronym used to describe or reflect on the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of general conditions and situations. The common usage of the term VUCA began in the late 1990s and derives from military vocabulary and has been subsequently used in emerging ideas in strategic leadership that apply in a wide range of organizations.
The deeper meaning of each element of VUCA serves to enhance the strategic significance of VUCA foresight and insight as well as the behavior of groups and individuals in organizations.
• V = Volatility. The nature and dynamics of change, and the nature and speed of change forces and change catalysts.
• U = Uncertainty. The lack of predictability, the prospects for surprise, and the sense of awareness and understanding of issues and events.
• C = Complexity. The multiplex of forces, the confounding of issues and the chaos and confusion that surround an organization.
• A = Ambiguity. The haziness of reality, the potential for misreads, and the mixed meanings of conditions; cause-and-effect confusion.
These elements present the context in which organizations view their current and future state. They present boundaries for planning and policy management. They come together in ways that either confound decisions or sharpen the capacity to look ahead, plan ahead and move ahead. VUCA sets the stage for managing and leading.
The particular meaning and relevance of VUCA often relates to how people view the conditions under which they make decisions, plan forward, manage risks, foster change and solve problems. In general, the premises of VUCA tend to shape an organization’s capacity to:
1. Anticipate the Issues that Shape Conditions
2. Understand the Consequences of Issues and Actions
3. Appreciate the Interdependence of Variables
4. Prepare for Alternative Realities and Challenges
5. Interpret and Address Relevant Opportunities
For most contemporary organizations – business, the military, education, government and others – VUCA is a practical code for awareness and readiness. Beyond the simple acronym is a body of knowledge that deals with learning models for VUCA preparedness, anticipation, evolution and intervention.
When you ask for money you get advice, so go out and ask for advice and you’ll get money. I’ve been holding the line that I’m not raising money, but let’s be honest: we’re all raising money if it’s the right person who adds massive value.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
- Albert Einstein
Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
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