An attribute of life is uncertainty. All actions in life take place in an atmosphere of increasing uncertainty, or the “fog of life.”
Uncertainty pervades life in the form of unknowns about the what to create, about the environment, and even about your organization.
While you try to reduce these unknowns by gathering information, you must realize that you cannot eliminate them—or even come close.
The very nature of life makes certainty impossible; all actions in life will be based on incomplete, inaccurate, or even contradictory information.
Life is intrinsically unpredictable. At best, you can hope to determine possibilities and probabilities—real options. This implies a certain standard of judgment: What is possible and what is not? What is probable and what is not? By judging probability, you make an estimate of your world and act accordingly.
Having said this, you realize that it is precisely those actions that seem improbable that often have the greatest impact on the outcome of your decisions.
Because you can never eliminate uncertainty, you must learn to live effectively despite it. You can do this by developing plastic plans—simple, flexible plans that:
- plan for likely contingencies;
- develop standing operating procedures; and
- foster initiative among colleagues.