I wish I could have been in the room when the important global leaders realized they couldn’t call the new description of our world business situation, as they saw it, “fanny.” It’s actually BANI, not FANI, and it replaces VUCA.
You likely know this, but just in case
VUCA is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous. BANI is Brittle, Anxious, Non-linear, Incomprehensible. VUCA was a 1980’s Cold War military concept. BANI is how globalists are trying to frame the next generation of business. Where did I get fanny (OMG…grow-up!)? In this description from Marian Temmen, the B word was meant to be F, for Fragility.
Temmen clears up (sarcasm intended) how all this applies to business today: “it’s obvious how obsolete (VUCA) has become in this new world, after all, talking about a volatile and ambiguous world, for example, VUCA does not suffice anymore to make sense of things or to figure out future scenarios.
Clear as Mud
Of course, everyone wants to know what to do. How to prepare for the future. As small business owners we may look to global business leaders for insights about what’s coming next. From all of this, the one that might be helpful is the F for fragility, which means a need for capacity and resilience. The language to describe it feels like a (manic?) effort to try to control an uncontrollable situation by explaining it. Yet in the words of a former boss/PR/Crisis Communications expert I know, “if you are explaining, you are losing.” (It was probably a good PR person who also said, “don’t call it FANI, no matter how appropriate to the world right now.”)
This whole conversation might learn something that comes from speaking another language: words are icons that carry cultural and contextual nuances.
An easy example is “love” which means very different things to different people. “Home cooking” conjures specific images, as does “success.” When communicating across a language barrier, you know to ask questions to confirm meaning, or you may speak more directly or with fewer words to avoid confusion.
How does knowing about VUCA or BANI impact what you do as an entrepreneur?
And in the end, you still need to make the donuts. As small business owners, crafting your plan of action, not getting caught up in the words, is at the forefront. And perhaps that’s a point where small business owners can have some insight for the big corporations. Translate the words into how they impact real people.
What do you think?