Leaning into uncertainty

Published On: September 1, 2020Categories: Editorial

Business author Stephen Covey said, “If there’s one thing that’s certain in business, it’s uncertainty.” That’s true in every facet of our lives right now, thanks to the coronavirus and economic and social turmoil. Some part of us may hope that things will eventually calm down and get back to “normal.” But it seems to me that uncertainty is the new normal.

Rather than trying to eliminate uncertainty, I suggest we lean into it and consider its benefits. Uncertainty is ripe with possibility; it’s often where you experience growth and discover new options and opportunities. When uncertainty strikes, our minds go to work trying to predict how things will turn out based on the options we see at the moment. But those options are never the whole story. Just because you don’t see other options doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Uncertainty is a fine time to build your skills in risk-taking, thinking outside the box and approaching the future positively. This issue is filled with ideas to support your efforts. “Shade Solution Evolution” offers advice about how to think beyond typical sunflys to offer design and technique innovations. “Company Values That Increase a Company’s Value” discusses how to help employees deal with uncertainty and fight burnout. Steven Wayne, Southern Stitch Canvas & Upholstery LLC, presents smarter ways to handle tricky upholstery patterning, and Terri Madden, Sand Sea & Air Interiors, talks up the value of project boards for increasing creativity and efficiency.

Motivational coach Tony Robbins said, “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.” Comfortably dealing with uncertainty is a lot to expect of ourselves. We can, however, choose to face it with optimism. We can lean into uncertainty knowing that we are supported by a larger community that includes other fabricators, the MFA and IFAI.