Framework

The VucaCanvas® enable organizations and places to shape the essential capacities to prepare for a VUCA world. It is a combination of a framework, canvasses, e-tools and (online) workshop designs. Field tests show it helps to calibrate strategies, structures and cultures.

The picture below shows the framework with six capacities. Each capacity is described in further detail in separate canvasses and tools. The capacities are based on new disciplines in science such as evolutionary biology, complex adaptive systems and design thinking.

The VucaCanvas® materials are distributed under the
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.

Six capacities shaping vibrant and shockproof social systems
(social systems are: teams, organizations, social networks & platforms, communities and places)

Adaptive

The capacity to easily change direction to suit different conditions is the essence of adaptability. In adaptive organizations, leaders create the right conditions for exploring new approaches, ideas and innovations as the environment evolves. Too often, traditional management sees experimentation as inefficient. Examples of adaptive organizations include Nokia’s evolution from paper manufacturer and tire factory to mobile phones.

[derived from evolutionary biology]

Resilient

Resilience is the ability to absorb shocks and recover quickly to original form. Buffers like surplus resources and 'rainy day' funds are especially important in VUCA conditions where surprises and shocks are frequent. Many large firms overpay dividends to shareholders, leaving them with less to ability to build cash buffers, support workers and reinvest in the business. Reserve Bank of Australia reports that over the past three decades dividend payouts have trended up to more than 80 cents of every dollar of corporate profits. In some companies, dividends payouts have exceeded 100% of profits.

[derived from evolutionary biology]

Diverse

Diversity in an organization stimulates adaptability in a rapidly changing environment by enabling the organization to tap a broader range of partners, perspectives, ideas and innovations. Diversity is also about the mix of people in an organization. You need different perspectives when it comes to dealing with complex challenges. Philips NAT lab is a wonderful illustration of how a business consciously cultivates a diversity of ideas and innovations.

[derived from evolutionary biology]

Sensitive

No organization can predict the future. However, 'sensing' organizations are attuned to early signals and patterns that are harbingers of bigger social and economic shifts. They are disciplined about gathering diverse information as input into scenario planning to explore alternative futures and pre-empt potential threats. Shell is a well-known example of an organization that is highly disciplined in taking the pulse of what’s happening in the world and adapting scenarios and operations accordingly.

[derived from complex adaptive system theory]

Connective

A vital organization consists of interconnected units. Modular systems limit the spread of shocks from one part to another, making the overall system more robust. For example, the choice of multiple suppliers in different regions initially seems inefficient but is far more effective for continuity in a crisis. Many countries have suffered the effects of being too reliant on China, for example for PPE equipment.

[derived from complex adaptive system theory]

Cooperative

An organization flourishes when people trust and work together on the basis of a clear intention. A group must be able to quickly change direction to determine alternative pathways. When the 'intention' is clear and there’s mutual trust, teams can respond quickly and autonomously yet remain in synch. This is especially vital in a VUCA environment. Buurtzorg is a good example of an organization that has developed this capacity flawlessly. Before the Corona crisis reached the Netherlands, health care workers mobilized quickly to  source masks and other PPE care material. 

[derived from social constructionism]

Copyright © 2020 vucacanvas bv • all rights reserved •  CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 • contact

Disclaimer • GDPR