Leadership and planning in an ambiguous world




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Imagine you are sailing when a violent storm is gathering on the horizon. In minutes, your comfortable day on the water has turned into a nightmare, with 10-foot waves nearly rendering your boat inoperable. The sails flap, the noise is deafening and trying to navigate is utterly useless, especially considering you have little experience steering through rough seas. How are you?

After two chaotic years of COVID-related dilemmas, it is no longer difficult to envision such a “black swan” event. COVID has radically and profoundly changed life and business as we know it, and while many have called it a catastrophe of the century, it’s widely accepted that it’s likely to be the new normal. It has brought supply chain disruptions, remote work challenges, revised HR policies and the “Great Resignation”, not to mention an increasingly polarized political climate, global migrant crises and global dissent on a scale that is only just beginning to emerge. In short, it’s an ambiguous world.

To further complicate matters, our boards and senior executives now expect us to anticipate these new catastrophes so that we are not caught by surprise again. This requires novel and creative thinking, starting from some unusual places. Classic contingency planning methods feel impractical, outdated and inappropriate – especially on a burning platform.

Through ·

Imagine you are sailing when a violent storm is gathering on the horizon. In minutes, your comfortable day on the water has turned into a nightmare, with 10-foot waves nearly rendering your boat inoperable. The sails flap, the noise is deafening and trying to navigate is utterly useless, especially considering you have little experience steering through rough seas. How are you?

After two chaotic years of COVID-related dilemmas, it is no longer difficult to envision such a “black swan” event. COVID has radically and profoundly changed life and business as we know it, and while many have called it a catastrophe of the century, it’s widely accepted that it’s likely to be the new normal. It has brought supply chain disruptions, remote work challenges, revised HR policies and the “Great Resignation”, not to mention an increasingly polarized political climate, global migrant crises and global dissent on a scale that is only just beginning to emerge. In short, it’s an ambiguous world.

To further complicate matters, our boards and senior executives now expect us to anticipate these new catastrophes so that we are not caught by surprise again. This requires novel and creative thinking, starting from some unusual places. Classic contingency planning methods feel impractical, outdated and inappropriate – especially on a burning platform.







November 7, 2022


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Article Topics

COVID-19 &mid tour &mid
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