PSA. Coronavirus is the tip of deep, dark, big VUCA iceberg.

Yes. You read it right. It’s only the tip of the iceberg.

The world readiness toward this virus spread has been warned way before things got real. Bill Gates has been thinking out loud about the world’s lack-of-preparedness in every possible talk he attends, researchers have found various ways to prevent things like now to happen, yet the science itself is still afar, and indeed still a knowledge gap to the majority of people’s belief in predicting future.

Now we’ve come to realize nothing is as certain as in hindsight and begin to gradually befriend with volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, to what we knew best as VUCA.

Initially, VUCA was a term used by the US Army War College Library to describe the complicated geopolitics situation of Afghanistan and Iraq post-cold war. People, later on, expand the usage to depict the world’s current shift as businesses started to be aware and more prepared of disruptions of the unwanted phenomenon (i.e., flood, extreme weather, or massive virus spread like COVID-19) by adopting sophisticated technologies in many aspects; retaining customers, recruiting employers, doing marketing, restructuring jobs, and so on.

Paradoxically, prior to the virus outbreak, we live up to the system to consider the change as a merely market lifecycle. We simply skipped the root cause of why technology little-by-little absorbed to the way we are doing right now. By that, the unpopular opinion should start with this statement; COVID-19 reveals the fact that we took digitalization for granted.

The silver lining of this pandemic is that we become more conscious of what’s coming next and plan the endeavors to not leak the impact anymore. As people said, this is the starting point of the new normal, for all of us. SARS, the elder sister of COVID-19, is one of the reasons and inspiration for China to have finally adapted to do shopping from home back in 2002-2003.

According to Harvard Business Review, VUCA is dependently independent. This united term actually has a reliable meaning for each distinct. We are going to break down the characteristics and the resolutions of what HBR has made according to the current COVID-19 issue.


The obstacle many businesses have to deal with COVID-19 is unexpected and may be of unknown duration, but it’s not necessarily hard to understand; related knowledge is often available.

Our analytics might be the best fit to help businesses ‘read the new normal’ for then predict what’s next to run.

2. Uncertainty

Despite a lack of how some people may have to keep on running their business for a living, the coronavirus basic information cause and effect are known; that it’s easily spread through droplets and we need to be at home to prevent the contagion.

We get used to putting on notes on the wall to keep aware of upcoming tasks. By this condition, our task management might suit the fast-paced industries in order to not skipped anything. We have known an online wall for Facebook, so then why not make your real office wall virtually.

3. Complexity

The situation has many interconnected parts and variables. Some said the vaccine would be available in the near time, some said it might take years to be certified as one, and some said with or without the vaccine, the pandemic might last for a year or more.

Courageous Leaders said to consider substituting physical events with alternative ways to engage people in purpose-filled conversations that generate the sense of belonging needed for you to navigate your way through COVID-19 in a sustainable way. Social media interaction might suit this vision the best, but here’s where the two sides of social media have to be underlined; as easy as it may be for customers to access, businesses should make sure all the account assets they have signed up years before are consistently active. This condition demands brands to change the perspective of social media they have; those are not only to display products but to reimagine a virtual building complete with the sales promotion officer, teller, and even cashier.

Make sure you are alive online, and the best way to accomplish it is by making a central hub for all your social media assets with the customer interaction happens on it; an omnichannel fits this best.

4. Ambiguity

Causal relationships are completely unclear. No precedents exist; you face “unknown unknowns.”

While people are now beginning to decrease mobility to as much activity as possible and on their own track to get things together by being online, we, the business party need twice an effort to facilitate that. The future is indeed unpredictable but to left technology as a credible clue so far. With or without the virus, our purpose has to be accessible.

Reduce the impact of the “grape vine” and “hysteria” being ignited by social media; a fact-checking bot might suit the ideal noble imagery of health and news portal industries, as to correct the ambiguous rumor outside there panicking people. This idea would at least ease people in understanding what might be good to be trusted and what’s not.

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