If I ever had a dollar every time I heard those two words.
“We must embrace uncertainty!”
“Embrace uncertainty – if there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s change!”
“We must accept that this is the future – embrace uncertainty to survive!”
“Helen, you don’t embrace uncertainty well do you?”
I’m slightly behind the Rhizomatic Learning cMOOC readings and activities simply because of my workload but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been mulling over the concepts of how we ’embrace uncertainty’ in our own workplace context.
I’m used to these two words. I hear them ALL THE TIME. So much so, they’ve lost their sense of awe. Now it’s a catch cry of managers who use them to rally up their staff to be inspired and excited of yet another change in the workplace because they simply don’t know what else to say. However, there’s been so much change in our corporate workplaces that at times I feel that there’s if one emotion that personifies this statement it’s the long “eye roll” followed by an inaudible groan of “here we go again”.
I’ve been accused of not ’embracing uncertainty’ but in both cases it was used as a convenient excuse for people like me who had openly expressed their dissatisfaction to their managers on how that change was managed. I dared to be say what I thought.
What can I say? I wear my heart on my sleeve.
For those who know me, I hate routine. Every project I have worked on in the past has involved some level of excitement or initiative but once it becomes transactional or as we call it, “business-as-usual” and integrated within the business as a workplace program, I have moved to another project and let those who have the skills to keep it going and maintained to manage it.
Much has been written about change in the workplace and I don’t wish to rehash it again here.
It’s a given. I know that.
The time now has come to be less complacent and not revert to our typical behaviour response which is to look to our managers and leaders for direction or an expectation that they will solve our woes. They won’t. In my experience, I have seen that they are in the same predicament – maybe in a worse position – because they simply don’t have the answers anymore.
Sometimes I even have the feeling that they’re waiting for someone in their own teams to just ‘take charge’ and ‘do something – anything’.
Maybe we’ve just all run out of ideas?
Maybe we’ve been burned in the past so we don’t offer ideas anymore when our experience shows that they’d be quashed?
Maybe it’s harder to be proactive and change our mindset and behaviour – and take personal responsibility?
I don’t have the answers for how we can make all this uncertainty in our workplace and in our role as learning professionals comfortable for us. What I do know is that I cannot look to the organisation to provide it but instead, lead the change by adopting an open and curious mindset.
Australians have a wonderful phrase of “Giving It a Go” and I believe this is what Learning and Development need to adopt and face an ever changing world.
Let’s just give it a go and see where it takes us. We may be pleasantly surprised.
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