Session 1 – Introduction. Identifying the challenges
After introducing the people, objectives and routemap for the day, we start with an experiential task which will flush out and define the meaning and implications of Local Government leadership in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous world. We identify the key challenges and consider key elements of our response. Examples of such challenges may be:
- How to keep up morale and motivation in an atmosphere of increasing despondency.
- How to maintain a sense of moving forward when the future is uncertain.
- How to create hope and optimism in a general atmosphere of pessimism.
- How to remain pro-active while reacting to events you can’t control.
- How to be flexible enough to respond to changing situations while still making plans and doing things.
- How to continue to get the best from people while they are distracted for concerns for their own future.
We diagnose the challenges that delegates are currently faced with and the inherent nature of the projects, tasks or key deliverables that they are currently working on.
Session 2 – Responses and strategies to lead in the VUCA environment
We identify the core skills, traits and strategies to enable us to deliver in a VUCA context where linear processes are unlikely to deliver the required results. These will encompass using situational awareness and emotional intelligence, agile thinking, cognitive readiness, attentional control, decision making, clarity, vision, agility, assumption and the ability to build trusting collaborations and communication flows.
Session 3 – Simulation and debrief
Using input from the day so far, delegates are challenged to deal with a scenario that will encompass many complex and ambiguous strands. They will be required to make decisions, problem solve, collaborate and calculate risk in a very uncertain environment where the stakes are high. The responses and behaviours the group display will be critical to the successful outcome of the task. The simulation is debriefed in order to analyse individual behaviours and responses to an uncertain and ambiguous situation and help us to see agile problem solving in action.
Session 4 – Self-Management
VUCA creates personal challenges for many people and can exert considerable pressure which impacts performance. We review the fundamental principles of pressure management and Emotional Intelligence to enable us to respond to the environment productively rather than by allowing discomfort to create unconscious reactions. Learning to be comfortable with the discomfort of VUCA.
Session 5 – Decision Making and Risk Management
It’s how you think, not what you know. Using practical tools and tasks, we unpick the critical agile thinking skills required from us and understand exactly how we need to adapt our cognitive processing to create a more agile approach. How do we balance the need for flexibility and innovation with the requirement for low-risk solutions?
Session 6 – Relationships, Collaboration and Trust
We assess the current state of trust and collaboration across the Councils and set clear goals for the future. How well are we managing our teams? How do we know? What needs to change in the context of VUCA?