July 9, 2018
Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. That’s VUCA. It’s a military term for a war zone that the world’s business community has adopted to refer to the countless contingencies you try to plan for these days.
VUCA is a great term when it comes to safety in the world’s most dangerous industries. Think of a large construction project or an oil rig; there are countless moving parts and variables to worry about. There’s no one set of processes that can account for all the possible safety issues.
Think of safety as an unchangeable value instead. Think of safety as doing whatever is required to keep people safe. Period. It’s not a checklist. Things happen that aren’t on checklists. Then what? Someone gets hurt. Or worse.
When safety is an essential value, people are given the freedom to lead differently, to come up with new ways of thinking that shifts not just what they do but how they do it.
Think of the timeless ad campaign from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. It was – and is – so effective because the only message that matters is this: Friends don’t let friends drive drunk. That’s it. There’s no set of rules you follow to make sure your friends get home safely. You just don’t let them drive after they’ve been drinking. You take their keys. You call them a cab. You make them stay on the couch. Whatever it takes. That “whatever it takes” is a value. Not a process. You live that value for people you care about.
Values cause big changes. Processes cause incremental changes. Think big. That’s how JMJ does it. In a VUCA world, it’s the only way to create a transformation that matters.