Why an HR Principle Should Shape Your Crisis Communications Plan

What Organizations Can Learn By Implementing VUCA Prime

A foundational human resources principle says that an organization is only as good and as strong as its people and its leadership.

While it is easy to see that people are the core and innovation behind opportunities, people also consistently create problems stemming from internal decisions as well as external forces. For this reason, one of the most common denominators in all crises is people. 

Because of this, we have found a human relations principle can be applied to most crises situations: VUCA and its flipside VUCA Prime.

The VUCA acronym was first created by military strategists in the late 1990’s to describe the global strategic climate we live in, “the lay of the land,” if you will. 

Looking at the world from this vantage point and striving for complete preparedness given this perspective ultimately forced the military to become more analytical and nimble and to be able to successfully respond to both sudden and gradual changes. 

Therefore, VUCA stands for a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous world. 

In essence, the VUCA model identifies the internal and external real-world conditions affecting organizations.

These terms are amazingly applicable in a crisis, especially for faith-based organizations operating in the present secular global environment. They succinctly validate the need for a strong crisis communications plan during tumultuous times. 

As a communication’s tool, identifying the global VUCA perspective gives Christians a better understanding of the vantage point the mainstream world uses to look at biblical behavior, biblical worldviews and religious perspectives.


The antidote for VUCA, is VUCA Prime, which flips this acronym into what are the essential characteristics to use and display in an organization’s attitude, behavior and responses as it faces and responds to crisis situations.

VUCA Prime’s creator Bob Johansen defines it as:

  • Vision,
  • Understanding,
  • Clarity, and
  • Agility.

At ALRC, the expertise of our Vice President of Operations Kerri Ridenour, who is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and also a SHRM Certified Personnel (SHRM-PC) Consultant, provides a unique perspective alongside the public relations expertise of our team when engaging in crisis communications.

In the end, we want to help organizations learn how to replace volatility with vision, uncertainty with understanding, complexity with clarity and ambiguity with agility.