Out with the old and (if you’re not careful) back in with the old……

Out with the old and (if you’re not careful) back in with the old……

The start of the New Year is the time most people undertake some considered and introspective thinking. Pondering, approaching and dealing with challenges, current and new.

Unfortunately, approaching these thoughts with the same thinking that has created them in the first place, often leads to unsatisfactory outcomes.

So, this seems the ideal time to share some of Transition Dynamics strategies for approaching ambiguity and the unknown.

It is often the unknown that causes the most angst in these ponderings, be they:

  • What will the shape of Brexit eventually look like, and how will it impact me personally and professionally?
  • Escalating tensions in North Korea and will we see armed conflict?
  • How are my savings working for me?
  • Are crypto currencies really a safe investment prospect / how much of my portfolio should I have in this area?
  • Is this the year to quit smoking or go for a dry January?

These are just a few of the wider non-organisation specific questions we might be asking ourselves. Fortunately, the support we provide our clients when navigating and delivering in the unknown, works in both the professional and personal space:

1. Focus on what is known NOW, try not to focus or worry about what is not known about the future

2. Where there is ambiguity and not-knowing WORK WITH IT not against it

Understand the context by examining:

Edges – where does it begin and end?
Spaces – what specifically is known and what specifically is unknown?
Relationships – what is the ambiguity/not-knowing related and/or connected to?
Light/Shadows – where is there clarity and where are there grey areas?
Whole – how does it relate to the broader environment around you?

3. Knowing how you 'FACE' and respond to ambiguity and not-knowing provides choice in how you act and react

A strategy for knowing how you ‘FACE’ challenges:

Fear – what situations and conditions make you feel fearful?
Attachment – what do you feel attached to? (people, process, systems, structures, practices)
Control – what aspects do you feel a compelling need to control?
Entitlement – what do you feel you are entitled to?

A strategy for understanding your ‘FACE’ responses:

a – How do you tend to act/react when you are aware that these aspects are present?
b – Are there any repeating patterns in these actions/reactions?
c – How do you react when your motivations and needs are not being met?
d – What impact do your responses have on the people around you?

We have found that applying these strategies to our thinking, provides deeper insight into considering and engaging with challenges of the unknown.

If you would like to delve deeper into this approach, our paper Leading Through Transitions will provide further insight.

If your organisation is going through change and you would like to understand how strategies for working with ambiguity and not-knowing can reduce unintended consequences such as fear and anxiety on operational performance. Please contact us here at Transition Dynamics.

If you would like to follow our blogs you can click here to receive updates when we publish a new blog