Leading with Safe Uncertainty® – Episode 1

In this initial episode Andrew Porter from Moonstone Associates describes the concept of Safe Uncertainty and its evolution from the field of family therapy to its current application in corporate organisations.
Describing the three key aspects of a safely uncertain approach to leadership, Andrew illustrates how the concept of the four quadrants of safe, unsafe, certain and uncertain can be used to illustrate the current mindset and culture.
In the next episode Jan and Andrew discuss the build and practical application of safe uncertainty for leaders.

Leading with Safe Uncertainty® – Episode 2

In this second episode Jan and Andrew from Moonstone Associates describe the key building blocks for leading with safe uncertainty.

– Our need to feel safe (in this context we mean psychologically safe). How psychological safety allows us the freedom to take risks and make ourselves potentially vulnerable, trusting that we will have respect and support from those around us.  Our preference to feel certain – how this has developed, how it impacts on us differently according to our  personalities / preferences and how it can potentially be limiting our potential for growth.
The opportunity to reframe our relationship with uncertainty. If we can shift our belief that certainty equates to safety, it gives us the opportunity to sit with the (creative) tension that uncertainty can bring. This does not in any way negate the discomfort and/or distress that the current uncertainty brings about our future – it allows us to step back and search for what is working, rather than focusing on what isn’t.
Learning to leverage the tension that uncertainty brings to release inherent creativity and innovation. Strengthening the muscle of antifragility* to build agility and flexibility of response – using uncertainty as a catalyst for growth and development.

*the term antifragility was originally coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Psychological Safety at Work – through the lens of Insights Discovery®

Jan Davis and Andrew Porter from Moonstone Associates discuss the relevance of Safe Uncertainty in the world of work with Jack Orchard and Dee Cooper from Agar Management Consultancy.

They discuss five questions in this initial podcast on Leading with Safe Uncertainty®:

– Why is psychological safety so important in the workplace (wherever that may be)?

 – What has potentially shifted that we need to adapt to both in this acute phase and as we move forwards?

 – How might this play out for the different Insights colours/preferences?

 – What is in our gift/what do we need to take responsibility for as individuals?

 – What are the implications for us as leaders?

The Role of Collective Leadership in Creating Safe Uncertainty

Jan Davis and Andrew Porter from Moonstone Associates are joined on this episode by Liberto Pereda from the Leadership Circle. They discuss how collective leadership, the power of mutual support and collective sense making can help us release our need for control.

They discuss:

  • how to use the tension inherent in uncertainty as a catalyst for self organisation, both individually and collectively
  • being comfortable with what is emerging rather than needing a fixed solution
  • the opportunity for us to recognise (and act on) what is needed in the moment rather than waiting for someone to tell us what to do
  • the ongoing need for physical contact, accepting that virtual communications are exchange platforms and not necessarily the best change platforms

Creating a Safe Uncertainty Culture in Teams

In this Episode of Moonstone Conversations, Andrew and Jan from Moonstone talk to Matt Hill, consultant anaesthetist and clinical advisor to NHSI (NHS Improvement). They are once again also joined by Dee and Jack from Agar Management Consulting as they discuss Matt’s experience of developing a safe uncertainty culture in clinical teams in the NHS.

They examine the mindset needed to create a focus of ongoing improvements in both clinical delivery and customer care; how the shift in mindset to focus on what’s going right and to accept and embrace uncertainty shows up through aspects of positive psychology, appreciative inquiry and in the use of Safety II*.

*Safety II – from a presentation by Dr Suzette Woodward:
 – The ability for people to adjust what they do to match the conditions of work
 – The ability to succeed under expected and unexpected conditions alike
 – A state where as much as possible goes right.

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