Letter From the Editor: Leading for Change in a VUCA World

Today’s leaders must be prepared to confront a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. These dynamics are so consistently true that many management experts now speak of how to lead in a VUCA (“voo-cah”) world.

Many aspire to lead better, but what a leader needs to learn to manage this reality is not always clear. In this issue of The New Global Citizen, we have searched the field of leadership for models, lessons learned, and shining examples that offer inspiration and insight for leaders everywhere.

In these pages, we go inside the outcome of the recent Nigerian election as an unlikely example of leadership. In Angola, we reflect on the attitude needed to succeed in an environment of constant change. And in Serbia, we explore how leading social sector organizations are adapting to thrive in the face of constraints imposed by the country’s expected E.U. membership.

Karl Hofmann, the CEO of PSI, reflects on his own lessons in management and their implications for leadership in the 21st century. Madeleine Blanchard, a best-in-class leadership coach, shares a universal leadership model that transcends culture. Laveen Naidu, the former Executive Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem, reflects on how classical dance can become a medium for better intercultural understanding. We explore how immersive, cross-border pro bono service experiences better prepare executives for leadership in a VUCA world, and how governments are using legislation to encourage companies to prioritize social investment.

By using common language and finding common cause, perhaps we can minimize the downsides of a VUCA world, and instead exploit the realities of complexity and uncertainty to foster growth and innovation.

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Alicia Bonner Ness


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Alicia Ness

Alicia Bonner Ness

Alicia Bonner Ness (@AliciaBNess) is the editor of the The New Global Citizen, where she seeks to showcase the impact of beneficiaries and implementers alike, empowering all those engaged in furthering social good to learn from one another. She is also the Communications Manager at PYXERA Global.

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