Talking about uncertainty

Talking about uncertainty is not an easy conversation to have. It may not be allowed by your organisation’s culture, particularly if your senior leaders are smitten with positive thinking or a ‘can do’ attitude. Alternatively, you may work in a function that is expected to play the role of the corporate cheerleader, or with colleagues who will brand you as ‘defeatist’ behind your back.

Whatever your situation, it is important to identify where the uncertainty lies in your project, strategic plan or initiative. It is only through identifying the risks present in a situation that you can ask the right questions and ensure an appropriate plan is put in place to mitigate them.

For example, organisations who are considering recruiting an apprentice for the first time may be uncertain about what to expect from a 16 – 19 year-old or whether their future apprentice will stay the course.  Yet, when you talk to potential suppliers/ providers and share your concerns it soon becomes apparent whether they can help you to mitigate those risks or not. Those that do will typically be able to provide examples of how they ensure that the recruitment and selection process is tailored to young adults and how they keep apprentices motivated throughout their programmes.