Volatility i.e. fluctuations in prices of commodities (onions), currency (INR/$), gold, petrol. Also there are ups and downs in other walks of life, like climatic conditions, government policies, interest rates, promises by neighboring nations, CEOs of companies etc. All this brings back the relevance of management’s favorite slogan, “Change is the only constant”! Why India, all across the world this slogan seems to have gripped millions of lives. Nations at war, shakiness in crude oil prices, withdrawal of stimulus, political instability, crime against women and what not. Day after day we feel the true significance of this slogan/mantra, “Change is permanent.”
Gone are the days of happy transcended state of bliss where everything seemed perfectly stable. Gone are the days where analysts who predicted future assumed ‘heroic’ status. Gone are the days of extrapolation and calculated risk taking in economic affairs. All we are left with is a sense of ‘randomness’. In his book ‘Fooled by Randomness’, Taleb (NNT) makes a wonderful argument. Mathematics/ math modelling is an excellent tool for postmortem of a historic phenomena. In a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complicated and Ambiguous) world it can barely guess what are likely odds in your favor. This is now getting like a Roller Coaster ride that designs it’s own track. There is no inherent embedded design.
But we definitely have a choice. Invest in people, not assets. Trust people, not assets. Love people, not assets. How to do that? One simple way is to start by asking, “Will you be my volatile…err..valentine?”