“We live in a world of uncertainty, that may not be a flaw, but a feature of our existence.” Tom Morris in Everyday Patriot
This quote in Tom’s book captivated me–partly because of it’s significance in the theme of his book, but mostly as a principle or opportunity we might have in business.
Everything in our “wiring” in business is to reduce and eliminate uncertainty. We look for things that are perfectly predictable. We are uncomfortable when they aren’t. Our managers don’t want surprises. We strive to “know everything,” as a method to combat or reduce uncertainty. We are uncomfortable with not knowing what might happen in the future.
Virtually everything we do, in our organizations, to eliminate uncertainty.
But however we strive to eliminate uncertainty, we will never eliminate, and, possibly, we can’t do much to reduce it.
What if we started looking at uncertainty differently? What if instead of fearing it, we embraced it? What if we looked at uncertainty as an opportunity?
This frame of mind would cause us to think?
- How do we change/what should we change?
- Is there a different/better way to do things?
- Can we drive improvement/growth in different ways?
- What if we look at things differently?
- Is there something we are missing?
- How do we continue to improve?
- How can we innovate?
Just like the only constant in the world is change, the only thing for which we can be certain is uncertainty. Rather than burying our heads in the sand, we have the opportunity to embrace it, using uncertainty as a key to helping us grow, improve, thrive.
Afterword: Probably the single most important book you can read today is Tom Morris’ Everyday Patriot, How To Be A Great American. Tom, and I were laughing as we discussed the book this morning. I said that 100% of the lessons he teaches also apply to being great companies, great employees within companies, and great at creating value for customers/employees. It’s fascinating, there are common principles that underlie greatness. They apply to our citizenship, our work, our growth.