acronym. Volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. Also: vuca.

Example Citations:
Later that morning, Gunn scribbled four large letters on the whiteboard: V, U, C, and A. "Gentlemen," he said, "this situation is a vuca." Then he spelled out the words the letters stood for: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous. Gunn's last words to the lawyers before he adjourned the morning session were "Remember this: vuca is where history happens."
—Marie Brenner, "Taking on Guantanamo," Vanity Fair, March 1, 2007

The leadership forum reminded me of the importance of persevering and keeping focused on the prize while remaining open to new possibilities.

It's easy to say we should be teachable and humble, especially when you consider that the world we live in today is captured very aptly in the acronym VUCA: volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. But exceptional governance is captured in the face of ambiguity, inspiration and pragmatism.
—Tesse Akpeki, "Boards must focus on what is right," Third Sector, March 7, 2007

Earliest Citation:
Fast-track colonels at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, are told time and again that they are preparing for leadership roles in a world that is violent, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. They hear it so often they have taken to calling the place, with tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, VUCA U.
—Lee Smith, "New ideas from the Army (really)," Fortune, September 19, 1994

Related Words: