VUCA Times

We live in VUCA times. 

VUCA stands for:

  • Volatile – so dynamic with fast changes
  • Uncertain – having a lack of predictability
  • Complex – multiple forces
  • Ambiguous – having a hazy reality

The global economy is a great example of VUCA. Countries are tied together so a depression in Europe hits us here. We've seen so many fits and starts to the economic recovery that I have whiplash. You can see VUCA every day in the stock market, in the unrest in Ukraine, or even in the debate about privacy and how Big Data is changing how we live.

The term VUCA was first coined by the US Army War College during the collapse of the Soviet Union. But we can also see VUCA happening on a more micro scale. Think of how the brand Method reinvented the household care category. Or how Mio – you know, the liquid concentrate you add to your water – tried to rethink beverages.

  • All of this is relevant as we try to grow. Indeed, every company is trying to stand out in these VUCA times and Berlin Packaging is no exception. Here are some ideas we are using to stay pointed in the right direction:
  • We want to cut through all the clutter. We have a crystal clear mission, and that's to increase the bottom lines of our customers. We're in the business of selling profit growth, and packaging is the currency we use.
  • We also want to have a clear strategy and superior business model. We have this in our Hybrid Packaging Supplier approach. By bringing together the best elements of manufacturers, distributors, and income-adding consultants – we are setting ourselves apart. We're making investments to strengthen our service and services, which will extend our lead even more. 
  • We work to build a terrific work environment. This is what our Berlin Values T-Chart is all about. You can read about this in another of my blog posts. With every employee engaged and pulling together, we can accomplish so much. 
  • We work to execute maniacally. VUCA times require deliberate action; you must "lean in" to accomplish your goals.

VUCA isn't necessarily a bad thing. It signifies a time of innovation and a high velocity of change. Now for companies that are slow and flat-footed, it's a problem. But for companies that are fleet of foot, it's a great opportunity.