On chaos

In a recent post, Linda Henman suggested a list of questions that we can ask ourselves when trying to determine if someone is a strong decision-maker. Among them was the following: “How does chaos affect this person?”

My organization is currently navigating an intense period of change. Not only are we integrating a recently-acquired company of 30,000 employees, we are also preparing for the spinoff of two business units counting more than 100,000 employees. These complex initiatives require an extraordinary amount of delegation, thus a need for strong decision-makers.

We are embracing these changes because of the opportunities they present. At the same time, we are focusing intensely on the additional risks that chaos generates, including ethical risks. One of our countermeasures is an all-employee training entitled “Leading Ethically Through Change”, in which we explain how the pressures of VUCA* can affect decision-making. We believe that the first step in navigating chaos is to understand how chaos affects us.

To improve her organization, the ethical leader should develop strong decision-makers who can ride the waves of chaos when they swell.


*Volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity

One thought on “On chaos

  1. Good thoughts, Yan – also research from the Ethics & Compliance Initiative suggests that the greater the number of organizational changes – M& A’s, staff reductions, restructurings, etc. – the greater the E&C risk. So in times of change and disruption (VUCA) we must not assume that E&C risk within our organizations remains unchanged. E&C risks associated with organizational disruption must be continuously identified, owned, managed and mitigated!

    Liked by 1 person

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