Veja também: Mundo VUCA vs BANI: saiba a diferença


The world today: VUCA vs BANI

VUCA and BANI are acronyms used to describe the world through four types of “challenges”. Each one of these challenges represents a current common situation that is molded by the environment in which it is inserted, and presents a subsequent approach.


About VUCA

VUCA was first used in 1987 and it was shaped by the incoming results of the Cold War. In VUCA, V stands for volatile, U stands for uncertain, C stands for complex and, finally, A stands for ambiguous. These factors were observed as making part of the environment and were studied to determine an adequate response.

  • Volatile

It represents unstableness and rapid changes in a system, making it unpredictable. By embracing these changes and developing a clear vision of the future, goals can be created and adjusted as new and unexpected situations arise.

  • Uncertain

It refers to the unpredictability of the future or lack of precision when establishing expectations. To counter this topic, you must study the environment around you and how it affects you, investing in getting as much information as possible. Analyzing data and statistics, such as evaluating your own performance, can help you understand the benefits of the actions you took, and also identify what you could’ve done differently and apply it the next time.

  • Complex

The number of factors that impact a certain system and how they relate to each other and their variety dictates how complex an environment is. Higher numbers, greater variety, and multiple connections result in a high-complexity environment, that is thus harder to analyze and predict. Complexity can be dealt with through clear communicationspecialized professionals and teams, and overall collaboration so that all the factors can be more easily visualized and controlled.

  • Ambiguous

Situations are unclear and vaguely interpreted, making their causal effects harder to be predicted. Ambiguity can be a consequence of incomplete, imprecise, or contradicting information, as well as unknown situations. To fight ambiguity, it’s necessary to be agile and adaptable; to plan forward moves, and be fit for changing them whenever it’s needed. Also, when working with teams, make sure people know how to work outside their usual role, for this promotes collaboration, emergent ideas, useful debates, and agility when making decisions.


The change

VUCA has been used for almost forty years and, for excessive usage and changes in the context, it has been losing its significance. The current circumstances no longer match what was predicted in the VUCA model. Instead, factors such as global warming, changes in politics, widely-used technology, pandemics, and other elements contributed to the creation of a model that better describes the situation anew, and it’s called BANI.


About BANI

Made up after realizing the larger chaos that now dominates the environments, this model describes more precisely the challenges of the world as it is today. After spending several months living and fighting against the COVID-19 pandemics, managers and strategists realized that using the VUCA model to deal with the oncoming problems was far from being enough. Observing that, Jamais Cascio, a north-American anthropologist, turned the previous (VUCA) model into a new acronym, evolved and adapted to the whole new context lived nowadays. In the BANI model, what was volatile turned into brittle, for it is fragile and unreliable; uncertainty turned into anxiety; complexity turned into non-linearity and ambiguity turned into incomprehensibility.

  • Brittle

While looking reliable and unbreakable on the surface, brittle systems can collapse all of a sudden when reaching a breakpoint that couldn’t be predetermined. Often, due to the highly interconnected systems, failures can (and probably will) cause a ripple effect that can impact the environment and other systems right away, or take years to reach its final consequence. Yet, they will always take their toll. To deal with that, resilience is the most required quality, matched with capability and the acknowledgment that danger is always on the line.

  • Anxious

This brittleness, combined with the huge amount of information (and bad news) shared every day and the feeling of constantly standing on the verge of a breakdown, causes awarenesshelplessness, and anxiety, one of the most common illnesses that affect the population nowadays. Dealing with this delicate situation requires empathy to the ones around us and mindfulness and positivity to handle our inner struggle, infer opportunities, and identify potential improvements.

  • Non-linear

This non-linearity refers to the lack of an evident connection between causes and consequences. Sometimes, a small cause can lead to a disproportionately big consequence — or the exact opposite: a huge cause may lead to a small or no consequence at all. The same principle can be applied to actions and efforts that can, sometimes, not show the expected proportional benefit or impact. This factor requires malleabilityadaptivity, and knowledge regarding the current context to be dealt with.

  • Incomprehensible

Non-linearity and its lack of logic directly lead to incomprehensibility and unpredictability of the system’s behaviors. This is also strongly related to the now wide-used AI technologies. It is known that these programs are logically programmed to make decisions relied on a data-based web and that this data is continuously acquired and stored, making AI programs lifelong learners. However, the more these AI machines learn, the more overwhelmed by harmful information they get, and therefore the harder it is to trace down the true basis and logic that rule their decisions. Yet, its importance is constantly increasing, once this technology now rules many aspects of daily life. That being so, clearnessintuition, and a lot of human thinking are needed to deal with this incomprehensible scenario.


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