Especially after the pandemic, the level of (business and practical) uncertainty around us is so high, that traditional management principles seem no longer to work. At the same time (or maybe because of the uncertainty) there is a constant pressure for rapid innovations, to respond to the uncertainties. In this chapter, Risto first explains what is causing the uncertainty and slowing down large and established organisations. After that he talks how to tackle these problems, and how to lead in uncertainty.
The lecture slides for all the videos in this chapter can be downloaded from here.
1. Uncertainty in our current world
In the first part of the lecture, the key aspects causing uncertainty are covered, including trends like change in customer expectations and the emerging new technologies. The aspects are used to explain the background for strategic uncertainty.
2. How to lead uncertainty?
So there is uncertainty around us whether you are an individual knowledge worker or a CEO. But how to lead and how to organize and to respond to uncertainty? How do all these popular design and business canvases fit into this?
- Slicing and Dicing Strategic Uncertainty (blog post).
- Milliken, F.J., 1987. Three Types of Perceived Uncertainty About the Environment: State, Effect, and Response Uncertainty. Academy of Management Review, 12(1), pp.133–143.
- Courtney, H., Kirkland, J. & Viguerie, P., 1997. Strategy Under Uncertainty. Harvard Business Review, 75 (Nov/Dec97), pp.67–79.
The exercises were part of the course in spring 2020, originally done in pairs and submitted by email to receive credits from the course. In this online handbook, the exercises cannot be submitted for feedback, as it is not possible to receive credits. Yet we highly encourage you to check the exercises, and do, or at least think about them. They are the best done with a pair, for example a colleague or a fellow student, but can also be done alone, thinking your own current situation.
This chapter’s exercise is about creating understanding about the bigger context of your work by visualizing the different levels of contexts there are around the daily work.