How to thrive in a VUCA world

How to respond to a changing world and build a successful tomorrow? The solution is not to gather more information, reports and data. But then what? The path to my own learning starts with a big failure.

The meeting room ten years ago was full of great enthusiasm. We were going through interesting trends to serve as an innovation platform for new services. The customer was very pleased and said that the innovation work would start immediately.

I then changed jobs, and I treasured the project as a great success.

A year later, I ran into the client again. "You know, there's nothing done yet," he said, "It's often the case that even diamond-level insights are forgotten after you leave the meeting room."

The sentence was tattooed on my mind - and it is still there. Today, I only count projects where something changes as successful. And insight is not even insightful if there is no action.

I even find myself making my career moves driven by this challenge, including starting our new business. 

"It often happens that even diamond-level insights are forgotten after you leave the meeting room."

Magic is born out of action

We Finns love information, data and reports. However, we should love even more the successful use of data and insights, that is, knowledge management and data-driven decisions.  

It is difficult to support a bigger change by only entering more data and information into the machine.  Even if the data could be turned into insightful views, there are still many obstacles ahead. It often happens that nothing changes.

Instead, you often have to start at the other end of the pipe - with a clear vision, bold experiments and asking the right questions.

Vuca 1.0 We live in an uncertain world

The need to understand change and be able to build a good tomorrow is emphasized in a radically changing operating environment. We now live in the so-called VUCA world where change is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambique. 

Bill George of Harvard Business School rephrased VUCA to describe actions required in uncertainty, to bring it closer to everyday management. His Vuca 2.0 comes from Vision, Understanding, Courage, and Adaptability. I further enriched his thinking with tips and tools based on researched knowledge.

Vuca 2.0 Courage and a bold vision are the road signs to a good future


  • VISION. No amount of information will make changes happen. A bold vision does.
  • UNDERSTANDING. There is already too much information. So focus on understanding. Collect data, customer understanding, future and business insights. Make using critical information so easy that it’s part of everyday life.
  • COURAGE. Feed courage by involving everyone from the beginning, from employees to customers. Do not order “ready-to-implement” reports. 
  • ADAPTABILITY. And finally. Build up resilience and keep an eye on small signals with curiosity. Change is inevitable. And much of the big changes of recent years have come almost entirely as a surprise.

You may not be surprised to find out that our company Valo Future was born to innovate new ways to design tomorrow’s success, always based on the best insight and foresight. The result can be a shared view of our tomorrow, a bold vision, steering maps for everyday actions, and a shared excitement to making the magic come true.

Our goal is to spread "the diamonds" out of the meeting room, to everyday work.