Six Strategies To Navigate Through Uncertainty Find your winning strategy to lead companies in crisis times.

By Ranya Al Hussaini

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Nowadays, the fear of the unknown is the challenge faced by many, if not all, organizations. The new uncertain world is bombarded with the rival of change and disruption. As leaders and entrepreneurs, you are always on the fence when it comes to managing a disruptive situation or motivating your own people. There are four types of uncertainties that firms mostly encounter: variations, foreseen uncertainties, unforeseen uncertainties, and chaos. These four types of uncertainties would usually postulate any organization's system and strategies. To adapt to any situation without fail, here is a list of six strategies that leaders can make use of:

1. Anticipate the unexpected Anticipating is the ability to predict and tailor a strategy that responds intelligently toward all unexpected challenges in any volatile situation. Anticipating is a winning strategy to lead companies in crisis times. In such situation, a leader would require an open mind to envision and forecast the future, while a successful entrepreneur will already have built a company on such a solid grounds that it will respond to all shocks in a very flexible manner.

The three basic components for successful anticipation are flexible planning, future forecasting and scenario planning. With flexible planning, you are set to tailor a strategy that is flexible enough for any unexpected challenge, allowing for regular reviews. Future forecasting is useful for any organization as it crosses all aspect of traditional boundaries and opens new doors to thinking. The main role of forecasting is to ensure that the organization is set to sail on safe water and yet vigilant enough to navigate deep in the water. If the organization is backed with scenario planning, then it is supported with multiple scenarios for various situations.

2. The speed of thought and action Agility is a critical component that will take the company out of any challenging situation. Leaders who adopt a high responsive rate to any arising opportunity will stay at the top of the game with its competitors. Here, the main success factor is finding opportunities and ideas for innovation in threats in order to lead the market toward new trends and to win dominance over adversity.

For leaders and entrepreneurs, the key to success is having an aggressive approach to taking risks, mobilizing resources, adapting to circumstances, and living with uncertainty. A successful, agile, and responsive scenario will play on four pillars, including financial, operational, portfolio, and organizational aspects. The financial aspect will evoke leaders to keep a good flow of cash, allowing liquidity to act as a buffering agent against any commercial and financial shocks. The operational aspect will ensure that the organization is running in an efficient flow. The portfolio aspect will emphasise the importance of reshaping, reinventing, and relocating resources with speed. Finally, the organizational aspect will make way through a less hierarchical environment and rely more on empowering its employees.

Related: CSR, Ethics and Integrity In The Middle East Enterprise Space

3. Navigational outlook With strong leadership, you are emphasizing the fact of imposing strong faith in the organization, its people and the future. One factor that guarantees the longevity of leadership is having a strong vision for the future. Another successful attribute is the ability to empower, inspire, and engage people to act for the benefit of the organization. The basic concept of navigational leadership is the ability to hold a transparent conversation with coworkers, which is an attribute that promotes the clarity and credibility of the organization's leaders, while it strengthens the bond between the employer and its employees.

4. Strength vs. flexibility The capacity of any strong organization is based on its ability to dust itself very fast when the wind hits very strongly. Resilience has seven traits: adaptability, ability to bounce back, focusing on the performance, staying humble, focusing on solutions, and learning from the experience. The importance of being optimistic and confident at work will always influence your team and company to overcome whatever challenges you are facing at the moment. Plus, learning from old experiences will always shape how you stand your ground in times of crisis. A backup experience, or even an old lesson, will set a firm cushion against any shock that come across your path.

To meet your competitors halfway, leaders need more resilience and less bureaucracy. Resilience will always point out to the importance of flexibility and strength when facing adversity. Staying confident in your brand, your company, and your people will shape the future and the manner in which you will run your company in the face of any obstacles. Moreover, reflecting a cheerful, strong, optimistic, and humble approach will win you in so many places, and that's how you will motivate your people to work in tough times.

Related: Three Steps To Building A Sustainable Entrepreneurial Economy In The UAE

5. Open arms to collaboration The ability to reach out, dissolve boundaries and restrictions, and forge links with others will allow you to gain an alternative perspective and maximise innovation. Open collaboration is a strategic solution to most obstacles. Basically, you are adopting a flexible approach toward diversity, adapting intensively into the new norms, and reflecting back the best solution to any given obstacle. The open collaboration will act as a link between the environment and culture inside an organization and the outside world. The basic concept here is adopting a flexible plan, appealing to customers, and responding with the best solutions to customers needs. In conclusion, open collaboration, such as equity investments, outsourcing, franchising, research and development groups, and technology licensing, will invigorate organisations to learn and innovate more.

6. The power of knowledge Through predictive learning, you are forecasting and analysing previously hidden patterns and trends in order to anticipate any future and sudden changes. Improving your predictive learning techniques will encompass the utilisation of the following learning tools:

Analytics/data mining This involves digging deep into data, be it statistical, quantitative analysis, or predictive models, in order to drive solutions, decisions, and actions. With this, the organization is making a good use of the extracted data and results in order to skillfully drive the organization to a safe harbor.

Double loop learning With this tool you can manipulate the organization's policies, regulations, and objectives to solve any arising situation or a disruptive obstacle. Double looping allows you to emphasise the importance of trail and error in a belief that failure is the best teacher, promoting the culture that allows for learning through failures and adopts new techniques, tools, and even strategies.

Abduction In using abduction, the strategy is built on driving the knowledge from the frontlines, middle management, and the operational force of the organization. In here, you are making use of the knowledge, experience and hands-on practical solutions of your staff. Adopting a culture built on debating and asking the right question will allow your team to see things differently.

Related: Welcome To The Age Of Good

Ranya Al Hussaini is the wordsmith manipulator. Ranya believes that all mistakes and problems occur from the fact of miscommunication. Diving deep into NLP, psychology, and human nature brought the urge to write back to the public. Her aspiration is Helping to shed some lights on society's main issues and problems. Ranya is a sporadic writer on many topics including self improvement, and business.  She is a certified coach in NLP- hence helping her to master writing from different perspectives.

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