The last few weeks of summer always bring excited anticipation for something new, and nervousness about the unknown. This year of course, the butterflies are amplified. Ambiguity and uncertainty are cute for a while, but honestly it would be really nice to know what’s around the corner so we can prepare and optimize the outcome, right? We used to say that “the only constant is change.” Looking back on that now, it seems almost quaint.
How do you keep your team motivated when they are dealing with levels of uncertainty that can cause people to shut down altogether? And how do you carve out the time to access the creative, innovative thinking that you need to survive and thrive?
Lean into the uncertainty: My friend and colleague Rick Tamlyn wrote a post about it this week. Often the best learning comes from doing, and taking initiative is easy when we feel confident. But when risk increases, we hesitate. The idea is to continue to take action. Something that can help is to:
Know your values and strengths: The overused metaphor of the sailor’s sextant and compass applies here. You may not know what’s going to happen, but you can expect that the values and strengths that have helped you in the past will help you now. Many strategies can lead to success. The ones that leverage your team’s and organization’s strengths are the ones most likely to work for you. And finally:
Work to increase the trust in your team: Teams share something with computers; often they are only leveraging a small portion of their capabilities. When you can increase trust and create a safer space for collaboration, people have greater access to the thinking that will solve bigger problems. And, they are more willing to share that thinking. As the Center for Creative Leadership notes, with higher levels of interdependence, teams can take on more uncertainty.
What if it turned out that most of what you need, you already have.
Have a great week!