More and more adults probably feel like children in a complex business world that doesn’t look like anything we’ve seen before. Like children, we try to make sense of the surrounding world and the best way to do this is with a sense of curiosity. This curiosity is what allows us to gather information, try new things, and adapt our execution based on the situation.
Before looking at our new business world, let’s briefly look at the past and see what got us to this often uncomfortable new normal.
We used to live in a predictable world. Maybe a bit complicated at times, but anyways manageable. The more time you spent doing your job, the more experience you gained. Valuable experience led to doing a better job and the future pretty much equated to the past. Experience was nearly always relevant and our working style was consistent.
Enter new reality! It is not necessarily crazy, it’s just lots of factors are new and changing. Complexity. Digital world. Project-based economy. CHANGE. Change means that the skills, tools, approaches, and mindset that tended to stay constant in the past, are no longer always the solution.
To put it simply, the world has gone from simple to complicated and from complicated to complex. And while for simple and complicated we have methodologies, we don’t have a perfected recipe for the complex world. What we do have is behaviors, patterns, and approaches that seem to work.
How to Deal with It?
First step would be to accept that you don’t know everything and that change can be uncertain. Not everything will be learned from a book or a YouTube video because of the intricacies of complexity. Your situation is very personal, unique and it has too many variables to be solved by a universal solution. Our whole system (political, economic, business) is based on the fact that the leader should know everything and has the solution to all problems, but this is simply not true in today’s complex world. It’s not simple to acknowledge not knowing. But it is a very important first step.
As leaders today, we must recognize that change is constant and that we do not know everything. We must constantly work to refine our skills, our tools, and our approaches for a world that requires various approaches to new and unique challenges. Once we admit that we may not know everything as leaders, we can begin to use change as a way to adapt, improve ourselves, and allow curiosity to drive us and our success.