Volatility R Us

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This article almost seems ironic in that it’s highlighting a broad expectation that 2022 will “continue to be volatile.”

What else is new?

The article frames that volatility as a response to or side effect of the COVID pandemic, but you don’t have to be a CEO or a financial analyst to realize that volatility is pretty much the name of the game. Population growth? Weather? Unintended impacts of technological advances? Whether that super-complicated zoning code conflicts with itself or not? These and other issues were increasingly volatile before the pandemic; the strongest claim I think we can make is that the pandemic might have made some of these destabilizations unfold just a little faster.

from Merriam-Webster.com

Strategic planning types have talked about a framework of VUCA – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous – for over a decade. At this point in time, and for the foreseeable future, VUCA is more likely to be the operating state, the underlying context, than anything resembling conventional predictability.

And yet, just like this article, we’re still surprised when Volatile characterizes the world around us. And we don’t like it. We wring our hands. We try to fight it. And that doesn’t work.

So this article really should be a non-article. Volatility should be assumed. The real challenge is for us to learn how to live with it.

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