How Do We Teach People To Be More Comfortable With Ambiguity?

Profound innovation is created embracing the impossible and doing the unexpected

I’ve always been comfortable with ambiguity. I like new challenges and figuring things out. Of course, most everyone isn’t like this. They dread uncertainty, and love what’s familiar and easy.

Over the last two weeks I developed a script and storyboard for our upcoming explainer video that will accompany our website launch for Neurosurvey. We already recorded and released one video that was created in-house to explain what emotion AI is. I’ve done movies before, but I’ve never done an explainer video with visuals before; my team hasn’t either. Still, I said: let’s do it.

One of my colleagues was hesitant. He asked: Why don’t we hire experienced people to do it for us?

My response: Because we have to use our resources and time strategically. Plus, it will be fun!

Does this mean that our video is not important because we’d rather do it ourselves than delagate it to the experts? Does it also mean that we’ll do it better than experts? No. To me it means it’s an opportunity for us to figure out how to do it and learn something new. My intent, beyond being resourceful, is to strengthen my team’s cognitive flexibility and creativity. To be comfortable with uncertainty, and get used to depend less on others to do things for us; to develop our collective growth mindset.

I want my team to get used to being out of their comfort zone, and understand that ones need for certainty kills innovation; because that’s the only way we’ll grow as a team and as company.

Profound innovation is created embracing the impossible and doing the unexpected

So, what’s the key to mastering uncertainty?

There isn’t a right or wrong answer. My approach is to just do things without overthinking it too much. More specifically: let go of your fear of being wrong by taking on things that don’t have a pre-determined answer.

The point is not to overanalyze things, but approach everything with an open mind and vuja de attitude! Life is a daring adventure. And a love for discovery is how you live daringly, without fear. Instead of fearing chaos, become chaos.