George Bernard Shaw
During recent months, I have been involved in a series of conversations around VUCA, disrupted leadership and agile organisations.
Regardless of what I read or who I speak to, the conclusion is always the same: VUCA is a fact. Digitalisation, AI, globalization, automation are facts. The ever-growing speed of change is a fact. We ARE living in one of the most transcendental times in human history.
But then I think: What is more volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous than our life? How much can we really plan? How many times do we find ourselves saying:
‘On paper this choice seemed absolutely perfect. In retrospect, the illusion of having everything under control had made me unaware of the likelyhood that everything could go wrong’.
The opposite is equally valid:
Aren’t the best moments in life the unexpected ones? The ones that really change our life drastically – be it the birth of a child, moving to another country or meeting the love of our life?
Let’s be honest: stability feels good. Operating within comfort zones is reassuring. Following rules is comfortable and easy. But it is also extremely limiting. The margin for mistakes is reduced to the minimum and so is the chance for learning. A sense of false perfection is nurtured which, in turn, reduces the level of openness towards feedback. An illusion of knowing what others should do is fostered together with constant judgement.
So what can we do to develop that level of readiness towards the unexpected – be it within or beyond ourselves? I don’t have the magic recipe – if I did I would be feeding exactly what I am trying to avoid.
But I will tell you what I am experimenting with. I am making the conscious choice of disrupting my identity.
By voicing identities that are outside of my comfort zone.
Given my need to lead change, I am exploring my revolutionary side by challenging the status quo and asking probing questions like: ‘Why are we doing this? Is this (really) going to make a big impact? Is this risky enough? Why do we (always) do it like this? How does this contribute to the legacy I want to leave? What values do I want to make sure are visible in everything I do?’
I’ll be honest: I have never felt so assertive!
My next experiment? I have no idea but this is what makes life so cool! Just raise the bar, create yourself and experience what you still don’t know.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marianna Amy Crestani is Head of the Coaching Practice at TCO International – Accelerating Global Agility. With over 25 years’ experience, we have supported more than 60,000 people in over 100 organisations across 140 countries. We provide customised solutions and open workshops for individuals, teams and entire organisations in the area of global agility. For more information or questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org.