John McNeil Studio

Unpacking "Uncertainty"

JMS Editorial

We’re all feeling it: a big “question mark” looming over our current state of being. We’re hearing the rumblings of a recession, and trying to figure out what that means for ourselves, our companies, and our society. It’s a compounding reason we’ve seen a spike in our collective anxiety, hiring freezes, and declining birth rates.

Uncertainty is almost always surrounded by anxiety or fear, but we think it gets a bad rap. Not knowing can create room for opportunity — a chance to re-frame, re-think, and rebuild the status quo.

Ever heard of the VUCA principle? An acronym for “volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity,” VUCA is essentially a methodology for decision-making. Rooted in concepts of risk assessment, systemic change, and creative problem solving, it’s been used by everyone from the US Military to non-profit and for-profit organizations to forge ahead, even in the face of uncertainty. At its most basic, it’s a way to get “unstuck” from the inertia uncertainty can bring.

In our upcoming edition of JMS Editorial, we’ll tackle uncertainty head-on. We’ll hear from an economist, a behavioral scientist, and climate change advocates who all have something to say about how we can make the most of this moment of “not knowing.” Because when we better understand where our uncertainty stems from and what opportunities it presents for our individual and collective growth, we can meet it — and tackle its challenges with a new clarity.

Stay tuned.

Strategy Director, Editorial Content
Sarah Jessee