My name is VUCA

Perhaps you know about VUCA? It’s an acronym that stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.

While it has its origins in military strategy, it is very much an apt description of the dynamic, often chaotic, world of retail today. And if anything, the COVID era has dialed all things VUCA up to 11.

In an increasingly Volatile world it’s never been more important to articulate an intensely customer-relevant, highly distinctive and remarkable Vision for your brand.

With so much Uncertainty, developing deep Understanding of what the customers you desire to win, grow and keep truly value, is paramount.

As just about everything seems to be moving toward ever growing Complexity, the best way to be the signal amid all the noise is to push for greater Clarity on who our brand is for and what’s it for.

Ambiguity is simply part of our life, and the reality that many possible outcomes need to be anticipated must push us toward ever greater Agility.

The simple truth is this: the waves of disruption are inevitable. And they are going to keep coming.

We’re going to have to learn to surf.

This post is adapted from the final chapter (“A Brave New World”) of my best-selling book Remarkable Retail: How to Win & Keep Customers in the Age of Disruption and originally appeared on my blog.

Originally published at



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Steve Dennis

Keynote speaker & strategic advisor on retail innovation. Top 10 retail influencer. Senior Forbes contributor. Best selling author of “Remarkable Retail.”