GK Chesterton in What’s Wrong with the World:
“There has arisen in our time a most singular fancy: The fancy that when things go very wrong we need a practical man. It would be far truer to say that when things go very wrong we need an unpractical man. A practical man means a man accustomed o merely daily practice, to the way things commonly work. When things will not work, you must have the thinker, the man who has some doctrine about why they work at all.” (From Os Guiness’ Long Journey Home: A guide to your search for the meaning of life. Page 69. ISBN 1-57856-846-3.)
Reflecting upon this, allow me to rephrase the above in the context of business practice thus:
Business as usual indulges in a common fantasy: When things go very wrong, we need to do exactly what someone else has already done in the past – if something worked before, it must surely work again. It would be more realistic to say when things go very wrong we need to stop doing and start imagining. Rear-view-driven actions, copying what has gone before, doing something because it is the way things have always been done, following in your competitor’s footsteps; these are all merely denials of reality, of what is. When things will not work, we must have the innovator. Someone who recognises the uncertain state of the world and approach it in a fundamentally authentic, individual and unique way.
In an uncertain world, we need to acknowledge the uncertainties; and imagine new ways of doing in the face of that uncertainty.
Is this reacting to uncertainty with uncertainty? Seems to make sense to me…