Did you think that after graduating you would never go back to school? Big mistake! In times when everything changes in the blink of an eye, only one thing remains unchanged: the importance of knowledge.

In his speech at the ME B2B Summit, Guilherme Soarez, CEO at HSM, addressed both the need of learning in businesses and the future leaders.


VUCA World

VUCA is an acronym created in the late 90s, during the post-Cold War era, to explain various adverse situations in the military universe.

It’s commonly used in business today, to illustrate the moment we are going through, identified by speed, unpredictability, transformation and different viewpoints on the same fact.

The VUCA world is liquid and uncertain, and only knowledge can enable businesses to keep up with so many changes.

Blockbuster, a case of failure of the VUCA world

Blockbuster, once the largest movie rental network on the planet, went from heyday to fall at the same speed as the VUCA world.

Suffocated by the establishment of Internet and the innovation of Netflix, its key rival, the company declared bankruptcy and closed all its more than 80 thousand units. This is a real-world proof that, in the scenario where everything changes, staying the same is like running on the treadmill: making strenuous efforts to stay in the same place.


Antifragile organizations: handle with carelessness

To avoid going through the same problems as Blockbuster, companies of the future need to be antifragile. That is, the opposite of fragile, those that only improve with shocks, chaos, disorder and stress.

The term, which emerged in Nassim Taleb’s book “Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder”, is a neologism that forces companies to be more than resilient. After all, resilient companies keep their shape, while the antifragile ones get better and better.

There is only one way to reach this level: to promote the culture of learning and experimentation.


A new metric: ROL (return of learning)

Salim Ismail, who has been already mentioned in the post about Exponential Thinking, guarantees that, in the future, the most important metric will not be ROI (return of investment), but ROL (return of learning).

Companies and employees will no longer be able to stay in the comfort zone, and should constantly pursue new learning levels.

Additionally, in this scenario is forbidden to keep knowledge for your own benefit. It should be always shared, in order to keep all team members on the same page.

Knowledge is power

For the sake of survival, all kinds of knowledge will be important, valid, and purposeful:

Lifelong learning:

Learning that begins in childhood and lasts throughout life – such as the development of soft skills, for instance, like creativity, curiosity, empathy, ease of problem solving, etc.


Fast, short, and on-line training, which is often absorbed and put into practice rapidly.

Network learning:

A learning that results from the gathering of people, where all have the same purpose: to share knowledge.

Liquid learning (24×7):

The learning of modern times, in which one learns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s ephemeral knowledge to be put into practice and thrown away (when it’s no longer needed). Example: formulas and mathematical equations that we learn in school.


Fixed mindset x Growth mindset

Now in disuse and out of fashion, the fixed mindset gave way to the growth mindset, one that welcomes challenges, faces problems with enthusiasm, seeks learning to overcome limitations, and believes in the development of skills and intelligence.

So if you want to be a successful case of the VUCA world, there is only one alternative: to learn and innovate, in order to survive.