How do world-renowned leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, artists and creatives achieve success? For some 20 years, Nathan Furr, an Associate Professor of Strategy at INSEAD, has been interviewing such individuals, culminating in a book with 42 practical tools to overcome uncertainty. In this INSEAD Knowledge podcast, we speak to Nathan Furr and Susannah Furr, his co-author of the book The Upside of Uncertainty: A Guide to Finding Possibility in the Unknown.
In this conversation, they share how they developed this framework and how they consistently use the tools to navigate uncertainty in their lives. Amid the current socio-political and economic uncertainty, their tool kit demonstrates how to practice robust emotional hygiene to preserve mental well-being in difficult times.
At the organisational level, they discuss the important ways companies can create the right culture and conditions for employees to get better at navigating uncertainty. First, leaders have to recognise that they cannot create something new without encountering uncertainty. They need to build uncertainty ability for themselves by practicing it, as well as help their teams develop this ability. While the pair agrees that organisations should work towards developing this ability, this is very much a work-in-progress in most cases.
As the academic director of the Leading Digital Transformation and Innovation and Innovation in the Age of Disruption programmes at INSEAD, Nathan Furr acknowledges that the long-term trend of increasing uncertainty is in large part due to technological change. Technology has lowered the barriers to create, transact and interact, such that more people can participate in creation than ever before. Therefore, uncertainty should not come as a surprise. But we can learn to see the possibility in uncertainty instead of fearing it.
Edited by:Geraldine Ee
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