The successful organization in a VUCA environment (II)

The successful organization in a VUCA environment (II)

Aware that organizations have to adapt to a new unstable environment known as VUCA (in this article we explain the concept and its main characteristics) it is time to pull your socks up so that our sports organizations can survive and grow successfully. For this, it is important that in addition to the values that define the organization, these have to be aligned with these attitudes:

  • Have a holistic vision: We do not have to remain only with the reality of our immediate environment, but we have to have a broad vision of the sports sector, analysing new services, adaptations, and transformations of these, opportunities and new segments. Globalization forces us to go further and have a transversal and multidisciplinary vision, also offering us new options that we would never have contemplated.
  • Be resilient: The organization must be able to overcome the downsides and recover from bad times as well as react to unexpected challenges with the best possible optimistic attitude and strength.
  • Maintain social value: At a time when technology offers us new opportunities and even the future of the organization, it is essential not to forget the human and social factors of any organization and service. Precisely the high social value of sport is one of the key factors for its practice in certain groups. We must promote it both in-person and online.
  • Practice acceptance: Although it is not easy, it is important to accept that the environment is not static and nothing is the same again. Instead of resisting, it is better to accept it and value the new scenario ahead.

By adopting this attitude, it will be easier (which is not to say easy) to understand the VUCA as an opportunity that can open up new possibilities. Gambling everything with a single line of business or activity is indeed risky considering the volatility and uncertainty of the market. Diversifying the sources of financing can be a good option to be able to react to an unexpected turn in the market. This diversification also allows new projects to be launched, tested, and seen to their potential without assuming a high risk for the entire organization.

Horizontal leadership oriented to the needs

Leading in a complex environment is not easy; you have to make quick decisions in a short time and taking into account large amounts of information, factors, and perspectives. A single person is unlikely to be successful. Having a more horizontal, cooperative, and shared leadership allows decision-making taking into account this variety of factors and perspectives in an agile way and with a common commitment and objective for the entire work team. The traditional attributes of the leader are in second place before the soft skills related to the management of people from a more human and emotional perspective, the creation of a group and commitment in the present moment, which has a common purpose and a great capacity for adaptability and flexibility before any turn. The ability to redirect the work and objective of the entire group in the face of constant change is a key element in the leadership needs in VUCA environments.

VUCA organizations need talent in their teams, but not only technical talent but also personnel with good management of emotions both individually and in the work team. Keeping in mind the work-life balance, free time and self-management priorities of everyone on the team is key to their involvement and commitment. Continuous learning within the organization is essential, whether formal or mostly informal within the day-to-day life and in contact with reality. Adding the tendency to telework and the creation of changing teams according to projects and needs, team management is a challenge in itself where the rigid human resource structures that have existed so far have no place.

Action methodologies

This volatile environment and changing multidisciplinary teams make it difficult to work with long-term planning systems where everything can change in a second. More and more organizations are implementing new agile methodologies that allow adapting the way of working to the conditions of the project, achieving flexibility and immediacy in the response to adapt to it, and to the specific circumstances of the environment. Many of these methodologies consist of shifting complexity to simplicity, making the difficulty easy. Disengage the complexity into small, specific, clear, and simple tasks will allow each step to be tackled quickly and simply and progressed within the complexity.

Some of these methodologies are SCRUM, LEAN, or AGILE, which we will see in future articles along with their application in the sports field.