Uncertainty is not the enemy
Innovation agencies offer processes for systematically reducing uncertainty as a key for companies to level up their inventive output. They blast social media with graphs and models to support these concepts. But in reality, no matter how hard we try to avoid it, uncertainty will inevitably come our way and it often happens when we least expect it.
Unpredictable market trends and the volatile tech landscape bring us to extreme conditions. Uncertainty catches us unprepared, it will always be around the corner in forms that we could never imagine, no matter how experienced we are or which methods we use.
Sometimes, taking steps to reduce uncertainty might be possible — but not always. Wouldn’t we be better off relying on a resource that will always be available for us?
Instead of trying to avoid uncertainty, we might as well learn to dance with it.
The real question is — how can we embrace uncertainty and use it as a tool to reach higher levels of creativity, especially when we are inherently wired to avoid it?
We don’t need to seek confidence all the time. Rather, we better acknowledge the self-doubt, fear, and anxiety, that stem from uncertainty — as tools to make us ultra-sharp and ultra-alert as we continue to do meaningful work and take decisions.
When we hear the voice of angst shouting, it’s a sure sign that we’re leaving our comfort zone — the realm of certainty — and moving toward our more creative mental states. In essence, our fear is a positive indicator, one that we must learn to embrace, not shirk away from.
If we only learn to harness uncertainty to our advantage, we can use it to accelerate our creative and inventive abilities to levels we never thought possible. How? By getting to know it, expecting it, and changing the way we think about it.
Using uncertainty as a tool is an acquired skill, and not at all dependent on talent or “special” abilities. It’s a skill that, through a methodical approach, can be practiced and improved upon. In my new book titled The Other Ideas: Art, Digital Products and the Creative Brain, I discuss this practice in depth.
Yonatan Levy is a product leader, entrepreneur, artist. Author of The Other Ideas, and blogs about innovation, digital transformation, and product management.