Leadership Development

How to Lead in Complexity

Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) situations are precarious, but the lessons these circumstances teach us are some of the most valuable ones. While leading teams and departments in these difficult situationsit is crucial for cross-functional leaders to be efficient, insightful, and proactive to create clarity to achieve results. Adaptability in unpredictable environments has to become a big part of leadership skillsetMost of today’s leaders fail to realize that adaptability is the key 

While change typically takes time, in the world of business it can be quick and unforeseen. Follow our three tips below to better lead in VUCA situations. 

1. Be Flexible and Meet Frequently 
Great cross-functional leaders understand their team members’ situations and act accordingly. In a constantly shifting environment, flexibility is essentialMeeting with your team members to examine a situation at hand allows for change, adjustment, and alignment.  

2. Functional to Cross-Functional 
VUCA situations can cause teams and departments to crumble or fail. Focus on reorganizing your teams to be cross-functional members gathered with different skill sets that work towards a common goal lead to more productive collaboration. 

3. Innovation is Key 
“Cross-functional teams are typically used to generate new knowledge, to overcome barriers between functional departments and disciplines, and to get knowledge from downstream disciplines such as production early in the innovation process.”  Team members on a cross-functional team can offer different perspectives, therefore leading to more creative processes and solutions. 

Have a look at the infographic below. Have you taken all the steps necessary to lead in a VUCA world?  Are you being flexible in a constantly shifting environment

Cross-Functional Leadership helps to answer these questions!

To lead in a VUCA environment, being a cross-functional leader is key, and Birkman International's new program focuses just on that. The Rise To Lead: Cross-Functional Leadership program helps leaders grow their skills to become well rounded by deepening their mindset. The experience deepens their understanding of factors that lead to success during situations where other leaders give in. This is crucial to work around an unpredictable situation since organization, flexibility and innovation become some of the key resources that a cross-functional leader utilize in a VUCA situation.

About the Author | Kunal Thakkar

Originally from India and a University of Houston alum with a Bachelor of Science in Digital Media and E-Commerce, Kunal loves marketing, sales, UX/UI, and everything in the middle. As a highly energetic individual, you can catch Kunal exercising, swimming, cooking, and engaging in E-Sports outside of work.