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Management Narcosis™ in a VUCA world

Management Narcosis™ in a VUCA world

Management Narcosis™ in a VUCA world

Management Narcosis™ is a term that describes unpropitious leadership behaviors and their negative impact of them in today’s VUCA business world.  

Having experience as a Hellenic Air Force special operations non-commissioned officer and mixed-gas and cave diving instructor, the behavioral indicators for divers experiencing inert gas narcosis are similar to the ones of leaders in this modern VUCA geopolitical and business world.

VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity & Ambiguity. Read more about VUCA

What is Inert Gas Narcosis?

It is a reversible alteration in consciousness that occurs while diving at depth. It is caused by the anesthetic effect of certain gases at high pressure. The Greek word νάρκωσις (narkōsis), “the act of making numb”, is derived from νάρκη (narkē), “numbness, torpor”, a term used by Homer and Hippocrates. Narcosis produces a state similar to drunkenness (alcohol intoxication), or nitrous oxide inhalation. It can occur during shallow dives, but does not usually become noticeable at depths less than 30 meters. Due to its perception-altering effects, the onset of nitrogen narcosis may be hard to recognize.

One of the main issues with narcosis is that will not be evident to an uneventful dive. This is giving a false impression that you are in control of the situation. Narcosis in most divers leads to hallucinations, loss of memory, and unconsciousness.

Thus, when a problem appears is that you are unaware. This, because attention and perception are focused elsewhere. This is what we call perceptual narrowing or tunnel vision.

Depending on your temperament, your reactions to incidents can be stupid / foolish behavior or apathy with safety like a rapid ascent for example. In both cases, safety of both the diver and his buddy are compromised.

More than 80 percent of scuba divers fail to recognize or remember having any signs or symptoms of nitrogen narcosis. To get out of the difficult situation, your diving buddy or any other team member is playing a decisive and catalytic role. They need to have the education, the awareness of the situation and the skills to perceive it in time and react, before the situation gets out of control.

Signs and Symptoms of Management Narcosis™

The symptoms characterizing Management Narcosis™ include:

  • a sense of invulnerability
  • tight control on decisions
  • fixation of ideas or tunnel vision
  • resistance to change
  • being frequently surprised by trends and patterns (“didn’t see it coming”)
  • risk aversion
  • not encouraging innovation
  • demonstrated lack of confidence in others, and
  • avoiding feedback about both good and poor performance


VUCASIM Dive is a way to expose executives, managers and project teams to stress so that they can learn how to deal with it when they’re back on land again. This is especially useful if they are going into situations where they may be faced with stressful situations such as public speaking or making difficult decisions under pressure.

Diving is a great way to get away from the stresses of everyday life, but it can be especially beneficial for high-stress professions. Scuba divers are often subject to extreme pressure, but they learn how to cope with these conditions.

VUCASIM Dive is a great tool to scale up your leadership soft skills. It is a simulation-based training that is designed to help leaders learn how to communicate in an effective way. Communication is often one of the most challenging aspects of being a leader because there are so many different ways to communicate effectively with different people and groups of people. During this class you will learn how to communicate effectively with other people regardless of their nationality or cultural background.

This training program is a great way to learn leadership skills in a safe and controlled environment. The scuba diving experience is unlike anything else you will ever do as a leader. It provides an opportunity to lead people in an environment that is foreign and challenging. The lessons learned from scuba diving can be applied to any aspect of your life or career.


Management Narcosis™ in a VUCA world

The program is designed to help the participants understand their own strengths in relation to other people in the organization. Whether it be work colleagues or customers. It also helps individuals realize how they can use these strengths to improve their relationships with others in the workplace.

VUCASIM Dive is a “brutal teacher”! Enables participants to gain valuable insight into themselves by being forced to face some difficult issues. Everything in a safe environment with trained facilitators who can guide them through it all with positive feedback at every stage of the process.

The process involves putting each participant through an emotional roller coaster ride where they experience different emotions such as fear, anger and frustration while learning how to cope with them effectively within an environment where everyone is working towards a common goal – success! The exercises are designed specifically to help people understand how their own behavior affects others around them so they can make better decisions in future situations rather than just react.

Read The Cure for Management Narcosis™ in a VUCA Business World

VUCA Simulation Diving

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