On working with uncertainty

Yes, I know I tend to write long; some others, though, tend to write such short Twitter-length phrases that there’s a real risk that what they say may be lost in the noise.

Here’s a real example of something that needs to be kept somewhere safer than just the passing Twitterstream. In just a few short sentences, published as a sequence of Tweets yesterday, Sinan Si Alhir sums up many of the core themes we’re facing at present in enterprise-architecture and elsewhere:

Be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Agility is to uncertainty as resilience is to turbulence.

Intuition is to observation and orientation as improvisation is to decision and action.

Transformation is creative destruction, simultaneous dying and birthing without death and birth of the whole.

Navigate uncertainty using certainty anchors.

Without certainty anchors we are all to easily overwhelmed by chaos.

With certainty anchors we navigate the chaos, opportunity rich but risk infested.

Certainty anchors must be as fluid as the chaos itself. Anything rigid leads to fragility.

Evolution trumps adaptation. Responsiveness trumps reactiveness. Not because they are different but because they integrate and extend.

I love that concept of ‘certainty anchors‘. That’s exactly what’s needed in so much of what we do: something that’s ‘just enough certainty’, in the same sense as ‘just enough detail’. Checklists are a classic category of certainty-anchors, for example.

Nothing else to add at present: just wanted to bring it to folks’ attention, that’s all. 🙂

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2 comments on “On working with uncertainty
  1. Thank you very much for this, Tom, your energy and contributions are deeply appreciated.

    • Tom G says:

      You’re welcome, Si – I really value these ‘burst-streams’ of yours, and they don’t seem to end up on your own blog, so it’s important they’re kept available somewhere! 🙂

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