This is the book derived from our series of posts about S&T Happens: Surviving and Thriving in a VUCA World. The book is more developed and extensive than the content online. The webpages were the first draft. It is a shorter book than our others to date: 80 pages.

If you own the book, you can find any addenda or errata here.

How do we survive and thrive in a VUCA world? It is possible. S&T Happens.

Optimise for now.
Plan for the foreseeable.
Sense-make all the time.
Prepare for the adjacent possible.
Build resilience to the unexpected.
Build agility to take advantage of it.

“The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

That’s the book.

We redesigned the cover, if you’ve seen this earlier design.

Rob did the designs himself so it is probably no better, but at least it matches our other books.

The book is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback in English.  It will be out in Vietnamese in 2022.  Sign up for our mailing list to hear when more books are released.

(Yes, only on Kindle. We hope you will understand. Bear in mind that our best selling book pays us less in a year than we make in a day of consulting. We can’t spend much time getting a new publishing platform set up and learn how it works. Similarly there is more work involved in recording an audio book than there is in writing it. The cost involved in creating an audio book professional exceeds anything we would ever make from it. There are free apps for Kindle on just about every platform. It is an easy universal solution for us that I have been using for a decade.)

2020 changed everything. It is an inflection point in history.  There is no going back. Nor is there a new normal state to settle into. Change, accelerating change, is the new normal state.

How can we survive and thrive in a world marked by volatility, uncertainty, complicatedness, and ambiguity (VUCA)?

Surviving and thriving in such a world requires an organisation to be constantly adaptable – meaning resilient and agile. We must cope and change. We survive by mitigating risk and absorbing shocks (resilience), and we thrive by capitalising quickly on new opportunities (agility). We change how we see the future, and how we plan for it.

Teal Unicorn has done a lot of thinking and learning about how to cope with a crazy world. Many say this is the new normal: no normal. It’s not going to go back to the way it was. The post-WW2 years in Western countries – and the global economy – were, historically, exceptionally stable and peaceful. We have been in an “interbellum” period. That’s unlikely to resume post-pandemic as the Ukraine invasion – at the time of writing – makes clear. VUCA is here to stay. You may be doing great or you may be struggling, but one thing is clear: what got you here won’t get you there. How do we flex and writhe to survive and thrive? TU have been learning, and it is turning out rather well for us and for our clients.
This book shares what we have learned in theory and in practice.

To survive and thrive:

  1. We need more adaptable ways of working. These ways arise from new ways of thinking about work.
  2. Better ways of working require better ways of managing.
  3. Planning looks very different once we admit we are not psychic.
  4. We use these better ways to advance our capability safely.
  5. We learn to capitalise on turbulence and failure.

With these practices, you don’t just survive, you can thrive. One can surf the disruptive forces to find new opportunities that open up. Turbulence – even chaos – doesn’t have to be a bad thing if you are prepared for it, if your confidence is high, your systems are resilient, and your work is agile.


I recommend the book Flux by April Rinne as essential reading for everyone, to develop personal resilience I the VUCA world of today and tomorrow.
I wish I had read it before we finished S&T Happens, as it is the perfect personal companion to that organisational book.