Last week, we explored AI and the uncertainty and angst that such a fast-moving technology often brings. But it's not just AI that's causing anxiety: international conflicts, climate change; Covid and loneliness pandemics; and an economy grappling with layoffs, inflation and rising interest rates all make for a general feeling of unease. Then, to top it all off, we're dealing with the remarkable speed at which changes in so many realms are taking place.
Dror Poleg, an insightful observer of work, sums things up evocatively with regard to the economy:
And here's the thing: the external ambiguity we live with and the apprehension it causes are not easily compartmentalized; we can't just leave them behind when we head to work. On the contrary, we bring this angst with us, and in ways both subtle and overt it can affect our productivity, decisions and job satisfaction. Making it incumbent on organizations to acknowledge and address the uncertainty, and on leaders to be able to lead through it. Let's be crystal clear:
Increasingly, being able to lead through uncertainty IS the job.
So the job requirements are to set the right tone, to set direction, to foster trust and resilience, and to model the belief that the team will find a way through a murky present, and future.
This week then, we use our Stories to explore different tools and tips for taming the uncertainty our organizations face, and that our teams feel:
Thank you for reading and exploring with us -- and have a great week!
Aki + Usman
#Uncertainty #Ambiguity #TipsAndTools #Clarity
Ali is a management and leadership trainer. He rightly ID's ambiguity as a virus that threatens our teams, and shares that by setting clear expectations, and communicating how your employee is doing against those expectations, you can greatly reduce ambiguity.
That said, expectations are far from the only lever at our disposal. Companies and leaders can also provide clarity around:
- Goals: company-wide goals, employee-level goals, etc.
- "Flexibility", and specifically what it means to work remotely.
- Purpose: clarity around why you do what you do, who you do it for, and why that's so exciting.
- Culture, the values that drive it, and the behaviors that are "safe" and rewarded.
- What it means to learn and develop at your company.
Most of us can't impact things like a war in Europe, the rate of inflation, or the trajectory of AI. 🙃 And that's fine. There are internal levers that we do control though, and providing clarity to our teams helps ease the overall feeling of uncertainty, and fosters engagement. ✌️
#Uncertainty #TipsAndTools #AskBigQuestions
John is a management consultant and author with decades of operational experience under his belt. He writes at the opening of a piece in the Harvard Business Review:
Hagel explains in our image above that the right types of questions, counterintuitively, help you connect and earn trust with your team. And he explicitly calls out that in volatile and uncertain times, these types of "bold" questions help settle people, reduce anxiety and overwhelm, and create calm.
Per Hagel, these kinds of questions communicate that you value questioning, allow you to model that it's OK to ask for help, and also foster an overall culture of learning.
#Uncertainty #TipsAndTools #Reinvention #Learning
Yuval Noah Harari is an Israeli scholar best known for his blockbuster book, "Sapiens". And his ability to distill big lessons for humanity from his study of thousands of years of history makes his take on how to navigate the next few years worth considering.
He starts this article out with some very direct advice:
So what is the recommendation, in light of such extreme change and uncertainty?
For Harari, the need is not just to evolve or adapt, but to reinvent. And relevance -- economic, even social -- will require not just one-time reinvention, but the ability to continually learn and reinvent ourselves. Early on in our careers, to be sure, but also "at a young age like 50". 😮
In the same vein then, it's increasingly clear that organizations will need to attract employees capable of this constant reinvention in order to thrive -- and reinvent themselves, just the same.
Thanks for reading. 🙏🏻