A common – and apt – acronym for today’s world, and particularly the domain of investing derives from the military – VUCA.
“VUCA is an acronym – first used in 1987, drawing on the leadership theories of Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus – to describe or to reflect on the volatility, uncertainty, complexityand ambiguity of general conditions and situations; The U.S. Army War College introduced the concept of VUCA to describe the more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous multilateral world perceived as resulting from the end of the Cold War. More frequent use and discussion of the term “VUCA” began from 2002 and derives from this acronym from military education.” — Wikipedia.com
However this is incomplete. I put it to you that there are two missing pieces:
Lazy – in a world with more data than ever very few people bother to verify. Tribal identities, instinct and bias drive behaviour more than ever.
Noisy – it’s never been easier or cheaper to produce and distribute content. Data is more plentiful then ever, but it hasn’t got us anywhere. Wisdom and meaning are scarcer than ever. Separating the signal from the noise, or cutting through with worthy messages is harder than ever.
The world isn’t just VUCA, it’s VULCAN.
This presents a big challenge for those trying to think long-term, especially in investing. One way to fight back is to focus on the four things that matter most.