Tuesday, March 05, 2013

On Uncertainty And Decision Making

In a complex world you have to deal with the uncertainty in complex systems. Nowhere is this more true then when it comes to Leadership and decision making. More often than not in Leadership you are confronted with the need to make a decision, yet, either not having enough data, or, an overload of data ... left alone made sense out of data ... uncertainty in a complex environment. 

In complex systems, like, for instance, nature itself, uncertainty is present all the time. As a leader you need to know and understand that ... need to know and understand the implications it has on your decision making. Complex systems are changing all the time ... even your interaction with it is having a changing impact. In complex systems the prediction of events is not possible. Leaders need to learn, know and understand what that means. 

With the advancements in technology we suddenly have a flood of data so big, unheard of until now. Big Data is everywhere and has become a synonym for a, still largely untapped, potential of possibilities, possibilities that are already changing the world. Organizations, corporations are becoming eager to learn what is possible with Big Data available. Yet, Leadership seems to be ill prepared for that. The times, they are changing, and anyone in a Leadership position needs to understand that they alone can’t know everything. They need to understand the power of collaboration and cocreation. 

Great Leaders surround themselves with the best and brightest people they can find ... each one a specialist in his / her field. These people are not shy to speak up and voice their point of view, thus, giving the leader an enhanced vision and understanding of the problem at hand. Leadership of the 21st century requires Leaders able and prepared for handling the challenges of an ever more complex environment. Not only must these leaders count with the thorough preparation of studying, learning, and training on an ongoing basis. They, too, must be flexible, open for new solutions, willing to change their thinking, and adapting to a complex world. These Leaders, in a way, must be like conductors of a symphonic orchestra, bringing out the best of their people and creating together a brilliant symphony. They thrive in such an environment, where the only constant is change, embracing inconsistency, lack of predictability, and uncertainty as the ingredients for opportunity to happen. 

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