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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
VUCA: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity, these four factors dictate the current business world’s form according to Carolyn Swora in Rules of Engagement: Building a Workplace Culture to Thrive in an Uncertain World. In this book, Swora discusses how people react to the changing scene in their jobs. In many cases, employees become more and more disengaged as pressure continues to mount. In such a case, Swora proposes looking at the four factors (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) as reminders of the situation we are in. She also looks into the concept of psychological contracts, how to succeed because of being mindful of employees’ needs, and she delves into the difference between output and productivity, and the importance of considering the culture of an organization. One important feature in the book that stood out for me was the importance of collaboration over competition. These, however, are just tidbits. The book contains much more.
Rules of Engagement by Carolyn Swora stands out from so many other books focused on the business world. In this book, there are many unique viewpoints proposed by the author. One particularly interesting discussion in Rules of Engagement is the use of the VUCA factors, not as a combined systematic model but as a nudge towards understanding our behavior and not becoming controlled by industrial factors. In this regard, Carolyn Swora also explains the importance of dealing with issues as they arise and not waiting for the storms to pass as they will be succeeded by other storms. Also, the importance of growing leaders and not just employees was another fascinating perspective. The practical examples were a great plus too. Ultimately, I got so many takeaways from reading Rules of Engagement. Any other reader interested in the topic will definitely learn from Carolyn Swora's expertise.