When our world is predictable, we plan with confidence.
But what do we when our world is not predictable – as it is now?
First, we acknowledge that we are dealing with an unpredictable world.
Why? Because most of us act as if the future is predictable – when it’s not…
Using the Cynefin framework (pronounced kenevin), we divide the world into those things that are predictable (on the right), and those that are not (on the left). Having identified this, we ask: Is the situation we are dealing with simple, complicated, complex, or chaotic?
These definitions are important. Particularly now.
In a simple world, cause and effect can be replicated. You can tell what to do simply by looking at what works and doing it.
In a complicated world, cause and effect are still predictable, but the actions we need to take are less obvious. This means we need to some research or bring in an expert to help us determine the best path forward.
In a complex world, life is unpredictable, and patterns do not repeat. We can only see a cause and effect relationship after we have acted and can look back over time and join the dots.
In a chaotic world, there is no cause and effect relationship.
So how do we chart our path through these uncertain times?
First, we need to accept that what we have learned in the past will not necessarily help us in the future. This can be a hard lesson to learn…
Then, we scan the environment as accurately as we can, to see what is happening. Then we do the next best thing we can – we experiment. Then we learn, and we course correct. Then we look again, learn some more, and course correct again. And again.
As Jean Boulton said,
“Wishing the world was predictable and controllable does not make it so and might make us disregard what is actually happening.”
At The Alternative Board, our business owners meet together regularly. And when we do, we share our best understanding of what is happening. And as we see more, and learn more, we course-correct. And then we course-correct again. And again…
If you are struggling to identify the best path forward, please call us to see how we can help you navigate through these uncertain times.
– Karen Van Eden, TAB Business Owner, Auckland West