I recently watched a Chautauqua lecture by Dev Patnaik, CEO of Jump Associates and author of Wired to Care. His topic was hybrid thinking. One of the things in his talk that really spoke to me for transformational leadership and coaching was his distinction between complex problems and ambiguous problems.
Patnaik defined a complex problem as one that has many moving pieces and many layers, yet the goal or solution being sought is very clear. An ambiguous problem, on the other hand, is one where the challenge is constantly shifting, the players are coming in and out, things are evolving faster than you can keep up, and the goal or solution is unclear. Because all of the pieces are constantly moving and evolving, it is very difficult to know how to move forward. You actually don’t know what you don’t know. Patnaik went on to say that in today’s world, we actually have many more ambiguous problems than we have complex problems.
Among the fundamental distinctions of Transformational Presence Leadership and Coaching is our focus on staying in a place of discovery, and then letting what we discover show us the way forward. Rather than focusing on “figuring it out” or “solving the problem” from what we already know or can predict based on the past, we approach the challenge from the intuitive mind. We are learning that with ambiguous problems, the more we operate from what we think we know, the more we are caught off guard when the unexpected happens or the conditions suddenly change. Yet when we think intuitively, we are able to access a much greater field of information. We see a much bigger picture, ask different questions, and open new doors of possibility that we would have never known were there had we continued to operate from a problem-solving approach.
Herein lies the power of Transformational Presence skills and tools. There is so much more information available to us through the intuitive mind if we will just pay attention. The first step is to identify at least one potential that is trying to emerge through the current situation and then begin listening to that potential and letting it show us the way forward. This doesn’t guarantee that there will be no mis-steps, yet it does open new doors of awareness and possibility. From there we can intuitively discover the next steps that will move us forward.
The Hermetic Principle of Polarity tells us that a question cannot exist unless the answer is also somewhere present, that a conflict or challenge cannot exist unless the resolution is also present. The resolution or the answer represents a new reality – a new set of circumstances – most likely created by a new way of being and a new way of doing. The more we can open our minds and hearts to letting the potential show us the way – to coming from a place of discovery instead of from what we think we already know – the greater chance we have of riding the waves of change and evolution and finding a path forward that serves everyone.
In the coming years, our challenges will continue getting more ambiguous because the pace of evolution and change will continue speeding up. Transformational Presence offers tools and skills that can show us the way forward.