14. October 2022

Better Navigating Uncertainty

In a transformational business situation you have to deal with uncertainty. How can you as a leader expand your capacity to deal even better with uncertainty? In this context I like the recent INSEAD article “Can We Get Better at Navigating Uncertainty?”. It lays out four levers to increase your uncertainty ability. Let me share some highlights:

  1. Reframe.
    Of course, the way you describe an uncertain situation matters. For example, do you see life more through a “finite” or an “infinite” lens/game? Do you allow yourself to change your role, your purpose and boundaries of the situation?

  2. Prime.
    It starts with knowing your acceptance/aversion for a range of risks such as financial, emotional, social, physical, etc. You can then take smaller expanding steps in selective areas (e.g. meet 10 new people at a next event). Another option is to reduce risk and choose for stability in some areas, so you can use more of your uncertainty bandwidth on other areas. Increase your own awareness.

  3. Do.
    To expand you need to take action. However most successful breakthroughs are made through a series of small steps. Also, instead of focusing on goals, focus on achieving intrinsic values no matter how the external world responds. (e.g. focus and define success on learning, contributing, and discovering).

  4. Sustain.
    Two important elements in times of uncertainty: emotional hygiene and reality checks. Attend to your emotions to prevent paralysing states like self-doubt. Get resilient at handling frustration, find an “upside beyond the “failure”.


Transform uncertainty into new possibilities. Go from resilience to “transilience”.

What practices do you use to expand your ability to deal with uncertainty?

The Power of Co-Elevation

In a transformation, it is key to create high-performing teams that cut across reporting line structures. In this context, I very much like Keith Ferrazzi’s

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