The leadership situation of today and tomorrow is characterized by planning ambiguities, the demand for faster adaptation and abrupt strategy alterations. VUCA is the term that was coined to describe this situation. Is your organization prepared for it?

Since last year, we have been experimenting with diagnostic tools that will be able to find your position and to provide an answer on how well organizations are really prepared for this situation. A report from inside the development of the tools for a guided future check for organizations.

Rüdiger Müngersdorff

A diagnostics instrument on the issue of VUCA

Is it really true you are in a state of VUCA in your organization? Is the situation of your business really that volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous? How do the employees and managers in your organization see it? Does the context make a difference – the organisation as a whole, a given team, a given individual? Which aspects are considered to be the most challenging? Where have successful coping strategies emerged already?

We have captured the VUCA phenomenon in several blog entries and demonstrated a range strategies to address the situation. Before an organisation or one of its units takes a measure in order to better handle its existence in a world assumed to be in a state of VUCA, it is advisable to find answers to the questions above. It is only once those answers are before us that can we start to think about possible consequences and interventions.

In this context, it is particularly useful to engage in a guided reflection on the status of your own organization. We have therefore taken a step in that direction by designing a questionnaire in preparation for our last SophiaWorkshop. This tool enables us to find out how the people in an organization really experience their situation. It is not concerned with the measurement and evaluation of objective VUCA indicators but rather with capturing subjective and individual perceptions.

VUCA is often employed to describe the outside world or the organizational context of a business: increasing volatility on the markets makes planning more difficult, for example, as it emerges that the required assumptions and predictions do not fully apply. Many such external factors exist. However, internal factors – »home-made« ones – also play an important role. Certain structures, processes, cultural patterns and ways of behaviour can result in, or at least increase the likelihood of, a situation where employees and managers perceive their environment to be lacking the necessary stability, certainty, simplicity and clarity. That can result in a number of dysfunctional behaviours and limit the organization’s ability to react to the above-mentioned uncertainties in the outside world. The questionnaire focuses on these aspects.

We are working together with the University of Manchester and Carolin Hauner in the framework of her Master’s thesis in order to develop the VUCA diagnosis tool and to continue to sharpen the focus of the questionnaire. We will also work together with industry partners in order to make sure that the result will be a useful tool. If you are interested in taking part in this process of co-creation, please be in touch to address details and the means of cooperation!

If you would like to use the VUCA questionnaire for your own organization in order to gain an initial insight into how the VUCA situation is perceived in your organization, please contact us at

Thomas Meilinger
SYNNECTA Diagnostics