Navigate Ambiguity

Post six in a series about visually representing design mindsets.

The nature of creation is uncertain. There isn’t a right answer.

To some, that’s cause for tremendous worry. To others, that’s the fun of it all.

Design, by nature is about making judgment calls. If all the choices were made for you, there would be nothing left to design.

You’re going to have to color outside the lines, to set your own guideposts and find clarity in the gray area. That’s what it means to navigate ambiguity.

When your organization’s goal is to maximize impact, what is your first step? It’s not clear. There are question marks literring the path forward. What does impact mean? How do we use our resources to maximize it? How do we gain more resources? First you must chart a path to progress, then step by step, you answer those questions.

When faced with ambiguity, the only wrong action is to stop. To freeze. To become so terrified of failure, of messing up and of letting others down. When you stop doing, you stop learning.

Keep swimming. Walk a little further down the path. Shine a light into the dark.

Like Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards.”