Home > Educational Leadership > Five Tips for Coping with Uncertainty and Finding Opportunity

Five Tips for Coping with Uncertainty and Finding Opportunity

By Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Clouds of uncertainty hover over the Western world. The consequences are stalling action. Companies are sitting on piles of cash, several CEOs have told me, as they wait for a resolution to the U.S. debt crisis before deciding what and where to invest or whether to hire. Job creation is slow and unemployment high, leaving millions uncertain about their futures. Europeans wait for a resolution to financial woes from the south affecting the north, and in a safe, sane Nordic country, Norway, fear rises from a seemingly insane terrorist shooting that cost nearly a hundred lives. Safe harbors have uncertainty, too.

Companies can make strategic choices once they know what conditions will apply — will laws change, will taxes be raised or lowered, will interest rates go up or down? You could be a CEO weighing factory location decisions in the U.S. or abroad, or a retail entrepreneur deciding where and when to open more stores. Waiting for decisions that provide a direction, any direction, can be paralyzing. Motivating people to try something new, or to get on with innovation, is tough when the rules of the game are up in the air. Uncertainty is one of the primary reasons that people resist change. People are relatively adaptable once they know what the situation is, like it or not.

Perfect clarity is not always possible, and leaders are not always in control of events. But that doesn’t mean all the action must stop. Here are five tips for managing under uncertainty.

Continued at: http://wp.me/p11BlP-Bo

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