As the world becomes more dynamic and uncertain, leaders and their organizations are struggling to deal with the age of uncertainty. But it is possible to develop the capacity not only to endure uncertainty but to turn it into possibility. For the last five years, I have been studying people who have developed the ability to navigate the unknown, a capacity called “uncertainty capability.” Taking lessons from innovators, entrepreneurs, CEOs, noble prize winners but also from gamblers, paramedics, surfers, dyslexics, and others who deal with a great deal of uncertainty, I have identified a toolkit that can be used to increase the ability of individual leaders, teams, and organizations to become more resilient to uncertainty and to see the opportunities hidden within it. Specifically, my research identifies a set of perspectives, tools, and exercises to increase uncertainty capability, whether it be for individual leaders or teams within a larger organization.
Nathan Furr, Associate Professor of Strategy, INSEAD