Leading in a Disruptive VUCA World

taught by Prof. Sattar Bawany

Course description

Leading in a Disruptive VUCA World

“It is evident that conventional leadership development practices are no longer adequate. Organisations globally need to incorporate the next generation leadership competencies in order to address the development needs of their rising leaders. This expanded group of upcoming leaders need to have a broader skillset, one that equips them to think and act globally in a VUCA business environment. They must do so while embracing cross-cultural diversity and cultivating collaborative relationships within and outside their walls. These are the hallmarks of the mindset needed to develop effective global leaders.”

– Prof Sattar Bawany (2016)

NextGen leaders for a VUCA world: Transforming future leaders for success.

Introduction of VUCA World: What It Means and Why It Matters

Leadership is the process of influencing people to achieve results and prepare for the future. Effective leaders have always made the difference between success and failure. Leading in today’s VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) is becoming increasingly difficult, yet leadership today is increasingly important.

VUCA is an acronym that emerged from the military in the 1990s. It describes the “fog of war” — the chaotic conditions that are encountered on a modern battlefield. Its relevance to leaders in business is clear, as these conditions are highly descriptive of the environment in which business is conducted every day. Leadership as usual, including creating a vision, is not enough in a VUCA world.

  • Volatile: Things change unpredictably, suddenly, extremely, especially for the worse.
  • Uncertain: Important information is not known or definite; doubtful, unclear about the present situation and future outcomes; not able to be relied upon.
  • Complex: Many different and connected parts: multiple key decision factors, the interaction between diverse agents, emergence, adaptation, coevolution, weak signals.
  • Ambiguous: Open to more than one interpretation; the meaning of an event can be understood in different ways.

The Impact of the Disruptive, VUCA Driven Business Environment 

Leading in a world that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) not only provides a challenging environment for leaders to operate and for executive development programs to have an impact: it also provides a much-needed range of new competencies.  The new reality is resulting in the realisation that new and different capabilities are needed to succeed.

In a disruptive VUCA World, more and more leaders and companies recognise that they must proactively disrupt, or risk being disrupted.  But business-as-usual leadership, where big visions are followed by detailed road maps and action plans, do more than stifle disruptive innovation. They represent liabilities to success.  Leading disruptive innovation involves adopting principles that fall outside the traditional training of managers and leaders.

New leadership competencies such as cognitive readiness are required to navigate disruption. This means uncovering one’s deeper motivations to drive meaningful opportunities for others; pushing personal boundaries to challenge one’s own assumptions; taking steps into the unknown with the view that failure isn’t failure at all but rather a stepping stone to learning and progress; and tuning into surprises as a kind of portal for gaining new insights and uncovering opportunities.  To lead disruptive innovation successfully requires that we disrupt the most fundamental mindsets and behaviours that have led us to our current success.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this Masterclass, the participant will be able to better appreciate and/or understand the context of leadership today’s VUCA business environment and how to develop the mindset and agility to achieve sustainable organisational results during these turbulent times.

The programme incorporates a number of unique features and works on a number of levels. It is specifically aimed at enhancing and developing the skills, knowledge and behaviours of the participants.

The participants will develop their understanding of Leadership Effectiveness and how it will lead to a creation of a sustainable competitive advantage for their respective organisations through the development of an organisational climate that will contribute towards enhancing employee engagement and productivity during challenging times when operating in a disruptive VUCA business environment.

For copies of Clients' Testimonials for the delivery of these programs, please visit here .

Prof. Sattar Bawany
Prof. Sattar Bawany
CEO & C-Suite Master Executive Coach, Centre for Executive Education (CEE)

Prof Bawany is concurrently the Strategic Advisor & Member of the Board of Trustees and Governing Council of the International Professional Managers Association (IPMA); Managing Director and C-Suite Master Executive Coach with Executive Development Associates (EDA) and Master Facilitator with Action Management Associates, Inc. (AMAI).

He has over 30 years’ international business management experience, including 20 years in executive coaching, group facilitation, and leadership development and training with global management consulting firms. In addition to his business and consulting career, Prof Bawany has over 15 years of concurrent academic experience as an Adjunct Professor teaching senior executives international business strategies and human resource courses at various leading universities.

He is currently the Adjunct Professor with Curtin Graduate School of Business (CGSB) and a member of the Advisory Board of Curtin Graduate School of Business (CGSB), Curtin University, Western Australia.

He is especially skilled at coaching leaders work through leadership transition issues, whether individually or systemically. As a seasoned coach, he truly cares about others, listens with an open mind, and adds value in unexpected ways. His approach to executive coaching encourages new insights into the key capabilities and unique strengths needed to sustain practical behavioural change over time, resulting in the executive’s enhanced self-awareness, better decision making, and continuous performance improvement.

Prof Bawany is an astute advisor and coach to executives who need to know how they are perceived and want to focus on what is most important in their professional and personal lives. He has coached a range of leaders, from CEOs to senior vice presidents, and high potential managers. His current work in organisations focuses on encouraging individual initiative and leadership from a systemic perspective in order to achieve clearly defined business results. His speciality is effectively linking people processes to business outcomes.

Prof Bawany is a Fellow of International Professional Managers Association (IPMA) and The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). He is a Professional Member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). He is also a Practising Member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and International Association of Coaching (IAC).

Prof Bawany’s complete Profile can be found here and also on LinkedIn.

Contact us:


Perry Barrow, MD, perry@fgdmedia.com

Course Curriculum

Leading in a Disrupted VUCA World - Recommended Online Resources
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Evaluation of Leadership Masterclass Series
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