Not have certainties is not insecurity

When we think that we are certain about something that happens in the world around us, we feel that we understand things and we believe that we can predict what will happen.

It does exist in those times a feeling of control so “real” that we believe we are in safety.

To maintain this security we usually seek control of things through understanding, that is, we seek to understand in order to predict and thus ensure a secure future.

But is this really possible in an environment of constant change and increasingly diversified and interactive?

The certainty is a feeling of comfort, often translated into assumptions, presumption or even unshakable knowledge.

The certainty is the result of an extrapolation of events or experiences of the past applied to the future when the conditions in which they occurred are repeated without the slightest change.

To be sure that something will happen is to deny the complexity and prevent that simplicity incorporates the solutions of the problems we face.

To be not sure is uncomfortable and creates tensions that motivate us, though not always in the right direction, when we want to make decisions.

In “traditional” thought people believe they can see the “true reality” in any situation and that any view that opposes them is not reality.

These people think that there cannot be a better model, because they have the certainty of how things are.

But when we are faced with a new mindset with more opening, more curiosity and creativity we see that there is another view of reality because:

The existing templates do not represent the “reality”, but are a construction and this construction is often made in elaborate prejudices in learning and acculturation.

With this approach, the traditional thinkers consider that any contrary opinion must be crushed and seek to simplify the issues to avoid complexity, making their choices quickly and with decision-making character, avoiding tensions.

“Of all the headwinds we face as decision-makers, the power of one overshadows all others: our need for certainty. It is typically more important for us to feel right, than to be right — a difference that didn’t matter much in the lives of our ancestors, but now matters a lot…

Our physiology is geared to move us quickly to eliminate the uncomfortable tension of not knowing — the mild stress response our bodies trigger when we perceive that we have lost control because we don’t understand. It is this tension that motivates us to figure things out like the mysterious rustle in the bush, the confusing betrayal of a friend, the promotion we didn’t get — all the minor and major problems that confront us every day.”– Ted Cadsby

The lack of knowledge or uncertainty about certain subject creates tensions and these tensions that are uncomfortable have been up to now been resolved with the demand for an increase of knowledge that will lead us in security on the heights of decision-making.

One of the forms of protection that we have found to ensure the success of our predictions is the use of metrics and a deep analysis of massive data sets and their relationships with past facts.

This option could be to exceptional if there were no change. It would be a clear replication of the past at some point in the future.

But it is not, the change is there!

“They had no way at all of predicting change. Their core conception — “If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t count” — precludes them from demonstrating to themselves that the future will be anything but an extrapolation of the past. Note however, that it is a prison that they have built for themselves. They build it, lock themselves in a cell, throw away the key; and then complain about being unfairly locked in a prison cell.

We need to get away from all those old sayings about measurement and management, and in that spirit I’d like to propose a new wisdom:

“If you can’t imagine it, you will never create it.” The future is about imagination, not measurement. To imagine a future, one has to look beyond the measurable variables, beyond what can be proven with past data.” – Roger Martin

Now we have to imagine a world where the assured is only confirmed by the past when we are on security in the future.

Our greatest security is being able to imagine solutions to problems and use uncertainty as a constant for questioning assumptions. 

The uncertainty can be a lever for creativity and innovation.

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One Response to I am sure that there is a future

  1. John W Lewis says:

    Thank you, José, for an excellent post on a very important topic.

    There are substantial differences between people’s feelings, beliefs and thoughts about the things that they do not know.

    The way that you link this to management of the future reminds me of the quote from the late Dave Freeman: “we are going to the future, do you want to come along?”

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