Working With Uncertainty : Workplace Development in Ambiguous Times

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A practical, creative workshop, designed to help people work with uncertainty

Uncertainty and Control

We often hear about how 'business hates uncertainty', yet it’s everywhere, all the time. What if the problem is less about hating uncertainty, and more about simply not being confident at operating in an ambiguous environment? Imagine how much more enjoyable and productive work could be if we better understood how to work with uncertainty rather than fight against it.

Uncertainty often leads to a controlling response. If we tighten things down, we can be more certain of the outcome. The trouble is, certainty is a very narrow filter, and the more control we exercise, the more the ever-decreasing circles decrease. After a while, working like this becomes:

In a controlling environment like this, ideas get stuck, and inclusion reduces. People can’t grow and develop, so the good ones often leave. Ever decreasing circles.

Working with, not fighting against

We think there are better ways to work, and we’d like to invite you to spend the afternoon exploring some of those with us. Successful people and organisations are those who are not afraid to adapt, those who can thrive through acknowledging that what has served us well in the past, may not be so useful in future.

Age of Artists, an academic research group based in Germany, have developed an evolving framework which offers alternative ways to approach and work with uncertainty. In addition, Teresa Amabile, a renowned Harvard Business School professor, has spent years researching creative approaches to team and organisational development. We will explore and work through some of her findings, and some experiences of others with applied experience too.

Discovery beats instruction

Problem solving is best done through active discovery rather than passive instruction, so the emphasis of the afternoon will be on dialogue, and a series of small practical experiments which will help us see and experience uncertainty in a new light.

You will leave the session with new connections and new ideas for you to try out in your own workplace, designed to help improve how you work with colleagues and customers alike. You will take away your own workbook and copies of the frameworks and tools we will use on the day.

Earlybird tickets for this workshop cost just £100 plus VAT. All materials will be provided, and we will end the session with some informal, creative networking.

Session outline

1.30pm. Arrivals

1.45pm. Introductions

2.00pm. Models, frameworks, tools and techniques. A blend of conversation and hands on work, designed to help us explore uncertainty and get more comfortable working with it. Expect the unexpected.

4.30pm. Drink and Draw - an informal creative way to wind down and get to know each other better.

5.30pm. Close