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Leading in Uncertainty
2020June

COVID-19 has poignantly highlighted the life and death impact of leadership. It has placed a spotlight on existing fault-lines, but at the same time created opportunities for radically new conversations. There are very few things we can be certain about right now, but one thing we do know is that COVID-19 is not the first pandemic humanity has had to face, and it won’t be the last. In addition to that, there is climate change, increasing polarisation,socio-political turmoil and economic uncertainties. It is critical that we learn from this experience and prepare as best we can for what lies ahead. A question that keeps emerging is: where is the leadership that can help us navigate this uncertainty and complexity? And following from that, what does complexity-fit leadership look like?

In this conversation we explore:

What is the role of leadership in an uncertain world? Is there a crisis in leadership?
From each of the various perspectives, what is happening in the leadership field?
What are we learning about leading in complex systems? – What do we make of notions like collective and distributed leadership?
The dynamics between individual leaders and their systemic context. What are the implications for leadership and organisational development?
Join Eliat Aram, Jennifer Garvey Berger and Mary Uhl-Bien in conversation with Sonja Blignaut for a 90-minute discussion on “Leadership in Uncertainty”.

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Cognitive Edge Pte Ltd. (t/a The Cynefin Company) are making this material available as part of celebrating and narrating the development and influence of the Cynefin® framework and SenseMaker  in various contexts.

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About the Cynefin Company

The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.
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