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Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

Communication Strategy in VUCA Scenarios

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This program is intended to expose the participants to situations which are Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (or VUCA) and provide structural frameworks to enable them to design and execute a communication strategy to manage the situation productively. Situations such as these could have severe impact on multiple stakeholders in the company, and effective management of such situations could result in positive impact on employee motivation, customer and supplier confidence, the company’s brand and image vis-à-vis investor, institutions and the public at large.

Three communication contexts are addressed in this program: (a) Internal to the Organisation, (b) With External Agencies, and (c) In times of disruptive organisational change, requiring internal as well as external focus of communication. Examples of such situations include (a) Organisational Restructuring, (b) Product Recall and (c) Merger and/or Acquisition


The program is designed and implemented by professionals who spent many years in the corporate world and are now teaching MBA students at IIM Bangalore. They have faced similar situations and believe that the importance of having a strong communication strategy in a VUCA circumstance is critical for the organization’s future. The program draws its theoretical foundations from cross-functional disciplines of management especially strategic thinking, leadership behaviors and marketing communication. The program is designed as a simulation which will not only guide the participants to appreciate the academic depths, but also take a very practical view on the concepts so that participants can apply them instantly when they return back to their offices to manage communication in their own VUCA scenarios.

The program has the following specific objectives and learning outcomes:

  • Identify the emergent communication situations in different organisational contexts,
  • Deploy the underlying theoretical and practical frameworks
  • Be able to design a simple, strategic communication plan

Develop familiarity with the planning, execute and management of different communication situations in terms of

  • Identification and understanding of the audiences and actors who are impacted,
  • Determining messaging needs and making media decisions,
  • Developing organisational communication objectives
  • Deciding on optimum execution plans within the time and resources available, and
  • Designing measures to assess the effectiveness of the recommended decisions and actions.

Topics that will be covered (but are not limited to) are as under

  • Strategic thinking – long term view in VUCA scenarios, frameworks like BHAG and SWAT to analyze past, current and future scenarios
  • Leadership dynamics – leading v/s managing, charismatic styles, personal behaviors, beliefs and attitudes
  • Organizational structures – stakeholders, hierarchy, cultural issues, human capital issues
  • Persuasion – dynamics of persuasion, campaign of communication, content, audience analysis
  • Human behavior – under pressure, in politics, for loss aversion or when bias exists.
  • Marketing communication – understanding how various media can be leveraged to reach out to different stakeholders
  • Financial planning concepts to create a communication campaign


The program will equip senior managers and leaders with the frameworks, skills and confidence to identify, design and execute effective communication strategies and campaigns in a VUCA scenarios.

Who should attend

The program is designed for

  • Senior Managers, Vice Presidents, CXO’s of medium to large organizations from diverse major industries and sectors such as manufacturing, technology, consulting, services, hospitality, healthcare and so on. These managers must be responsible to manage a business unit within an organization and are in the line-of-fire at a time of crisis (at least 100 direct reports, revenue of 100 Crores or above, 10+ years of experience)
  • Officers from government organizations with a public-private partnership model and similar or more work experience as above. Entrepreneurs who have their own venture with at least 10 years in existence and with revenues of 10 Crore or above


He has over 35 years of experience in the corporate, entrepreneurial and academic areas. A communication evangelist, he leverages his academic and industry expertise to deliver practical, result-oriented learning to students of management at the post-graduate level. Teaching In an academic car...
After taking the Plunnge from the corporate world in 2008 to follow my passion, the thing which has grown is my collection of pens and notepads, my hunger to read and learn, my love to teach and write, my time with my family and friends and most important – my happiness and faith. Everything else...
M S Rajagopalan is an independent Corporate Consultant and Professor of Business Communication at IIM Bangalore and IIM Visakhapatnam. Until recently, M S Rajagopalan was the President of Qube Cinema, a pioneering digital cinema technology company. In the twelve years he had been at the helm, th...


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