I’ve started reading a book that was given to us as a gift by Professor Newman–the professor that I consider to be the best one I had at the program. The book is entitled Just Start – Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future (image links to Harvard Business Review Press):
What caught my attention was the way it started with the basic premise–that we were simply trained to think and act well in a world with a predictable future, but not so much in the world as it is right now.
We were all trained to think this way:
- We forecast how the future will be.
- We construct different alternatives for how we’d want to achieve that future and choose the optimal one.
- We gather all the resources needed to reach our desired future.
- We set out and work to make that future a reality.
Now that we live in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) world, this way of thinking simply doesn’t make the cut. More often than not, this approach can lead to frustration. And when we fail, we think it’s a bad thing. If things didn’t go according to plan, we simply need to try harder. And we end up banging our heads against the wall.
Then comes this book to tell us we don’t have to do it this way. Because people who caught the spotlight these days, the Serial Entrepreneurs, simply did it differently–not only through thinking, but more importantly through action.
I’m still in the process of finishing the book, but if there’s one takeaway I can get from it right now: it’s the power of small, manageable steps that have the potential to create a tremendous impact in our lives.