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The VUCA Learner

The VUCA Learner
Future-proof Your Relevance

First Edition
  • Suhayl Abidi - Trainer in areas of developing agility, adaptability and resilience through continuous learning
  • Manoj Joshi - Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship and Director, Centre for VUCA Studies, Amity University

August 2018 | 272 pages | SAGE Response

We are now living in a world of constant change and disruption. We can either see the world as a hurdle to or a limitless resource to engage, stimulate, and cultivate our imagination. In a globally networked world, information is getting easier and easier to access. What you actually do with that information is the new challenge. Leaders do the thinking and others execute.

Organized training is not keeping pace with the demands of the workplace. On one hand, the shelf life of skills set is getting shorter and these may get obsolete fast. On the other hand, new careers are spawning which were not on the horizon a couple of years back. What is the way out for a leader, an executive or even a professional to remain relevant to workplace demands of the present as well as prepare for the future?

The answer to all these questions is The VUCA Learner: Future-proof Your Relevance. As the world grows more complex and uncertain, opportunities for people with critical thinking, innovation and imagination are on the rise. Organizations are only as good as  the people they employ. To stay relevant and grow in this unforgiving business environment, one needs to develop a learning mindset, where continuous lifelong learning becomes a daily habit, to let go of the old and become agile, adaptable and resilient.

This book will showcase the various sources and methods for self-learning. Whether you are a fresher or a CEO, you must develop the learner’s mindset, scan the business environment for green shoots of opportunities, regularly conduct a skills gap analysis and use all the tools available to continuously reinvent yourself to be ready for new episodes in career. This book is a roadmap to making you future-ready!

Foreword by Marshall Goldsmith
Introduction: Why Learn
An Unexpected Learner
The Future of Work: The New Workplace
Who Will Win: Preparing for the Future
I Am My Own Teacher
The World Is Your Classroom: Self-learning Tools
Together We Learn; Together We Grow
Family Firm Scion: Learning in the Family Business
Hierarchy or Wirearchy: Learning in Enterprises
The Road Less Travelled: Learning in Entrepreneurship
Annexure: Personal SWOT Analysis

‘Reading this book is a must for practitioners, academicians and researchers who deal with uncertainty of ever-changing context of business. Delighted to go through it.’

Pankaj Kumar,
Professor, HRM and OB, Indian Institute of Management Lucknow

The authors of The VUCA Company have advanced the scholarly contribution with its sequel, The VUCA Learner. They have tried to express how in a VUCA world the learner must be prepared to unlearn and then relearn in order to counter the unexpected and unknown. This text is a must-read for all those preparing for a leadership role.

David Ahlstrom,
Professor, Department of Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Senior Editor, Journal of World Business

In a truly turbulent and unpredictable (VUCA) world, this book identifies what it will take to produce learners who are sufficiently able to dive into experience with others without fear, fully engage, step back and learn from their experiences—yet be ready to relearn again and again. Since students both desire this and are scared to death of it, it is a monumental undertaking but totally necessary for economic and societal survival.

Allan R. Cohen,
Distinguished Professor of Global Leadership, Babson College, Massachusetts; Co-author, Influence Without Authority

There may be no more important issue facing labour markets than helping people be more adaptable in their work and careers. Markets are more competitive and rapidly evolving than in the past. Careers are less likely to be along defined paths within a single company. Artificial intelligence is changing jobs in dramatic ways. More skilled jobs are being automated than ever before. To stay ahead, we need to invest in the cognitive, social and innovation skills that distinguish humans from machines. This book comes at exactly the right time, with exactly the right topic. Good luck with your new book.

Michael Gibbs,
Clinical Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business Research; Fellow, IZA-Institute of Labor Economics

The VUCA Company provided insights on the failures in a VUCA world. The same authors, in their sequel, The VUCA Learner, have expanded their research and insights into how learners should react in unexpected and unknown scenarios. Leaders, working in a networked digital world, will find this book useful and inspiring, which will help them survive and prosper in a VUCA world.

Graham Kendall,
Provost and CEO, and Professor of Computer Science, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus; Pro Vice Chancellor, University of Nottingham

A wonderful little book, full of inspiring insights

Gerard McElwee,
Professor of Entrepreneurship, Huddersfield Business School, University of Huddersfield; Editor, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The VUCA Learner is an interesting book which brings new insights into mechanisms of learning in a VUCA world. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who may need not only inspiration but also very useful tips about how to become a VUCA learner.

Aidin Salamzadeh,
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Entrepreneurship, Business and Economics

VUCA describes perfectly what is happening in the global business world today. Observation, absorption, self-validation combined with selective application are the tools for individuals to swim in this ocean of digital networks.

Nalin Jain,
Senior Consultant–SME, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Trade and Competitiveness, World Bank

Thinking outside the box to solve problems of today and yet imagining an innovation-filled bright future. In this sequel to their VUCA Company, Suhayl Abidi and Manoj Joshi enrich the readers with their wisdom, intellect, analytic rigour and pragmatism.

Tojo Thatchenkery,
Professor and Director, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University, Virginia; Co-author, Appreciative Intelligence: Seeing the Mighty Oak in the Acorn

The VUCA Learner provides considerable insight into learning and the demands placed on the learning in the continuing rise of the knowledge age where the individual must excel at continuous learning. 

Roger R. Stough,
University Professor,Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University
Key features

·         A rare book which provides solution to the uncertain career scenario in India.

·         The book provides an understanding how VUCA has challenged the way we think.

·         This book provides a roadmap for the lifelong learner and covers the learning requirements for millennials, family business scions, entrepreneurs etc.

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.