VUCA

VUCA is an acronym standing for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. It was first used by the American Military to describe extreme conditions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Beyond the simple acronym it is a body of knowledge that deals with learning models for VUCA preparedness, anticipation, evolution and intervention.
Volatility represents the nature and dynamics of change, and the nature and speed of change forces and change catalysts.
Volatility is characterized by frequent, rapid and significant change especially for the worse. For example in a volatile market, the prices of commodities can rise or fall drastically in a short span of time, and the trends may reverse suddenly. The decision we take to day after studying present situation may not be relevant for tomorrow in the changed scenario. Inter connectedness on global scale also breeds volatility. For business this financial volatility can affects things like supply chain of products and components bought from overseas priced in local currencies and the selling of products in internationally. As these changes impact the global markets, leaders need be agile and responsive, having strategies in place to manage risk.
Uncertainty comprises the partially non situation with the prospects of surprises i.e. component of situation, in which events and outcomes are unpredictable. We are unsure about how to proceed next. This is more proximate with the fog of war a military term.
An example of uncertainty in the business world would be a competitor launching a new product and not understanding how the markets and your customer base will respond, which could impact your own product sales. This is nothing new but the impact of technology which has been a huge disrupter in many industries has meant that competitors are much harder to spot. Disruptions observed in the taxi industry with the introduction of Uber, and Airbnb on hotel industry have impacted tremendously.

Complexity is multiplicity of forces, the confounding of issues, no cause & effect chain & confusion surrounding organization. In such situations we know the outcome of our actions. But many key decisions factors cloud our acumen to arrive at a judgment. Since the situation consists of many different and connected parts. If a business operates internationally, it will require working within many different cultures and unique environments with differing regulations, creating a complex situation with many different and connected parts. Working internationally requires adapting in different business environments operates. For example, a business may sell an unregulated product in one region, but in another region that product could be heavily regulated and taxed differently. To be prepared for leading in complex environments, leaders need to be able to see patterns in what’s happening with the bigger picture, as well as being able to understand the details while being agile enough to adapt to individual market needs.

Ambiguity is the haziness of reality, the potential for misreads, and the mixed meanings of conditions; cause-and-effect confusion. It is depicted in a lack of clarity and the difficulty of understanding the situation. It is low in knowledge of situation and predictability of outcome e.g. where we are introducing an entirely new business model to the market or launching a never-before tried combination of technologies. There are many contributing factors to ambiguity in the modern world, but one which stands out is the pace of change. An example of this is globalisation which has seen organisations enter new markets quicker than ever before, often expanding in regions or markets unexplored in relation to their products. Dealing with ambiguity in this instance requires leaders to have a clear understanding of hypothetical outcomes, test them, ask questions of stakes holders with different perspectives and not jump to conclusions too quickly.

Strategic Responses to VUCA
Visionary and tactical leadership

• During times of rapid change, it is important that the leadership team monitors the situation closely. The need for visionary leadership as well as tactical leadership increases.
• Such as in case of rise in commodity prices a great opportunity to introduce new, cost-effective, customer pleasing menu items exists
• In volatile times, are connectivity and good communication with employees is essential.
• Clear vision can be a weapon to guard against volatility.

Understanding

• Relentless environmental scanning is necessary in a VUCA world. When one is clear about the desired outcome, a level of uncertainty is removed.
• The most successful companies in a VUCA environment practice relentless near and long-term trend scanning. The ability to spot weak signals is key to anticipating, adapting and acting on disruptive trends.

• Understanding of outside perspectives as well as market intelligence, scenario planning and storytelling in planning out multiple possible futures with uncertainty, and a rapidly changing technology landscape are helpful tools to combat the uncertainty.

Clarity

• Simplify/clarify where possible. Unnecessary complexity is costly. Diametrically opposing thought patterns are necessary to reach a consensual clarity.
• Use social network analysis to understand how your organization actually works. Use inspiration, influence, expectations, reinforcements and rewards to shape the culture.
• Leaders in complex projects within complex systems must be able to hold thought patterns. There will be more on this in later posts, but for now, let’s look at two different kinds of thinking, both of which are required for success.

Agility

• Take an experimental approach, making small bets, gaining feedback and adjusting. Use prototypes to gather very early feedback. Don’t over invest in the prototype. The purpose of the prototype is to evoke a response.
• Keep moving forward, since it clears off the mist. It’s easier to steer a moving ship.
• Being passionate about doing the right thing for our customers, dealers, distributors and shareholders, one ventures in an ambiguous situation. Begin with the end-user in mind. Be clear on the needs of the end users and focus the efforts on providing solutions that meet their needs.
• Adaptability, clear focus and being fast as well as flexible are near panacea for ambiguity.

VUCA has come to stay and will only increase with the time. VUCA leaders operate in the face of imperfect data. Design thinking as well as systems thinking, an experimental mindset and gaining knowledge of disruptive change by environmental scanning and reading feature by scenario planning and storytelling becomes the key to unlock VUCA. The best way to predict the future is to create it.

WANT TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL CAREER AFTER HOTEL MANAGEMENT EDUCATION

Career after pursuing professional education in field of Hotel management is no more a buzz word, today professionals in this field are not only part of the tourism and hospitality industry but are hired in varied field such as – Event Management, Retails, Hospitals, Airlines, Cruises, Fast Food, Restaurant chains and in entire service industry where customer service is of utmost importance. Hospitality which is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world in itself has varied segments as career option. As a result, there are numerous exciting opportunities available for those who want to pursue a career in hotel management.

Can I be a successful Hospitality Manager?
Professionals envisaging a career after completing their Hotel Management course should not only meet general set of job requirements required from a hotel manager but also needs to have the right personality traits, as well as positive attitude if he or she wants to be successful in this role.
The individuals opting for this field should posse’s qualities such as a pleasant personality, excellent communication skills, the ability to think, sound technical skills. However, these qualities alone are not enough to excel in the industry, so here are few tips compiled for you on how to achieve wonders in profession after completing hotel management:

1. Be in a group that you are proud of:
Once employed you will become the face of an hotel or in any segment of hospitality industry, as most of the time you will be the ones interacting with guests on a regular basis, handling their service demands and many a times taking care of a complaint. This is where it is vital for you to choose a group or build a team that you are proud of, as that will set a right kind of attitude in your personality. To do this, you need to make sure that you are with people having the right skills, attitude, character and hunger to know or explore more.

2. Don’t be afraid to learn new things:
When you are eyeing to be a future manager you need to understand what would be required from you, here are few things you need to look into as a budding manager:
– You would be required to handle various tasks at any given time.
– You should be able to identify and solve problems quickly and effectively.
This requires you to have within you innovative ideas, positive attitude and the desire to learn new things. It is important that you keep learning, and that you keep up to date with new trends and developments in the industry. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of being left behind in your career.

3. Being organised:
For a manager, it is important to be well-organised. His/her responsibilities in general include a wide variety of activities, such as planning operations, preparing budgets, supervising staff members, scheduling shifts, delegating tasks, and dealing with requests and complaints from guests.
As a budding manager or operational head you need to make sure that you don’t neglect any of responsibilities given to you during your college days and should have hunger to grab opportunities during events to plan things and lead a team and doing so you need to make sure that you have a proper plan and system in place to help you stay on top of things and perform as a successful manager. To do so you have to organise yourself your team and things around you.

4. Develop decision making ability to handle emergencies
With time you might learn the managerial skills but no matter how hard you try to avoid them, emergency situations are going to occur at some point in your career as a hotel manager. In the hospitality industry or be it be service industry, the manner in which you respond to an emergency is always a key to your managerial success.
So you need to give yourself ample opportunities during your course tenure to be effective in situation handling and handling emergencies as in future If you are able to respond swiftly, have ability to keep your guest happy, you will be able to uphold the hotel’s, and therefore also your own, reputation. You therefore need to make sure that you learn and understand the necessary risk management and emergency procedures required for the trait.

5. Get Good Quality Education:
It is rightly said that “there is no shortcut to success” so is the case with hospitality career too, but if are able to pick a right Institute which can enrich you with the right kind of training and qualifications, you can surely succeed in this industry. As you might have heard about or witnessed a qualified hotel management graduate struggling for a good career in industry and the reason in general is that he/she lacks the skills and attitude required by the industry. Therefore, it is important to pick a college or Institute which have carved a niche for itself and has a sound system of training and educating future managers because such institutions enriches you with the type of training and qualification that is required to succeed.

Have you heard about SOPHIA?

NO……….. Let me tell you about her. “SOPHIA” is a humanoid robot created by Hanson Robotics, led by AI developer David Hanson. It is the first robot(female) who has been given the citizenship of Saudi Arabia. It is the first time in the history that any robot is considered as the citizen of any country and this is a revolutionary step to be taken by the country in the field of robotics. She is a perfect example of Artificial Intelligence. She has been designed such that she can learn and adopt human behaviour. Hanson tells about her that Sophia is social like us that uses Artificial Intelligence to see other people. In this way she try to understand(pretend) conversation and build a relationship. Sophia is programmed in such a way that she can give pre-written answers to specific questions. These responses are used to create the illusion that the robot is actually understanding the conversation and replying accordingly.
She has been interviewed in Oct 2017 for the very first time. This was a global summit of Future Investment in Riyadh in which she has been awarded the citizenship of Saudi Arabia. She has artificial intelligence, visual data processing element and facial recognition system. The robot uses voice recognition technology from Alphabet Inc. Its intelligent software is designed by SingularityNET. Sophia is capable of imitating human gestures and facial expressions and is able to answer certain questions. Even Sophia involves in simple conversations on predefined topics.

Sophia can display her emotions like happiness, sadness, love. Although she has limited emotions but developers said that soon she will be able to show more emotions with her facial expressions like humans. Sophia has the capability to emote with the help of its machine learning software, stores the bit of conversation in its memory. She tries to grasp the flow of discussion to produce live answers in real-time.
Well, this is a brief introduction of Sophia. Technology has changed everything and every human’s life. Let’s see what is in the future of robotics and humans.