I see quite a few posts on social media that express the hope that this will soon be over and that we can return to normal—so do I, of course.
But the problem is that hope is not a strategy for coping with the complex issue that we all face: What to do next?
Most of us in our managerial and team leader roles are used to navigating in a relatively ordered environment. Things are generally simple or complicated. But even when things are complicated, there are principles, with the causes and effects more or less mapped and understood.
If it gets overwhelmingly complicated, we call in experts, consultants and other good people to help us understand whatever it is that we are struggling with, but we are still navigating in a relatively ordered and predictable environment.
Now, that has all changed.
Collectively, we have taken a step into deeper uncertainty in the direction of chaos—that...
“Why all this fuss about relationships?”
“Yes, Mike, I do understand we need to get on with each other, but honestly, work is work, and these are not my friends. Can we move on now, please?”
That attitude works well when the world is simple and orderly. We develop best practices, manuals and SOPs. Who needs relationships? Just work to the script. The instructions are clear.
The problem is the world is probably not as simple as it used to be.
Here is a great model from Ralph Stacey:
As you can see, as long as the world is predictable and we agree on what is going on, things are simple. Simple things can be managed.
But moving out along that path where things get more uncertain and we agree less and less on what is going on, we discover that things get complicated, eventually complex, and ultimately become totally chaotic.