What’s up by Stelio Verzera

Are risk and fear still everything most of managers can focus on? Or is it just laziness? After all the world-wide work done for 3 decades in understanding complexity, uncertainty and adaptive systems, it still seems nowadays most people in the “business world” are looking for precise instructions on what to do and reassurance that they will work. Even if reducing risk were the best focus to have, still can’t these people see that the only risk this approach reduces is that of thriving? All the off-the-shelf “solutions” and “models” sold out there prêt-à-porter presume that context doesn’t matter, that identity doesn’t matter. They all are about certainty indeed, certainty to fail though. They’re about certainty to give in to fear, constrain emergence, and kill the beauty of creativity that any human system carries within.

Imagine you could wake up every morning knowing exactly everything that will happen in the rest of your life. Every day.
Is that a life you’d want to live? No surprises? No derails? No discovery? No hope? I would not. Actually quite the opposite, I long for novelty. I use to keep and grow a collection, my collection of first times. Once you start collecting first times you begin to see how easy and interesting it is to live them every day. The first time you walk, you fly, you visit a half-built house, the first time your new colleague laughs, the first time your project takes off, the first time you overcome fear and feel what freedom really is. The first time you let go.

Here’s my entreaty to hordes of managers supposedly leading companies of any size in every country of this planet: stop looking for a prêt-à-porter work. There is no prescriptive solution to evolutionary challenges. It is your life, you can live it much more than that. It is our world, we should love it so much more than that.


This article was first published in our Cocooners N° 4


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