Uncertainty is also an opportunity
“Black swans” are the kind of events that we do not foresee but, precisely for that reason, have an enormous impact on societies. In recent years we have experienced two, the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Both have rapidly transformed many of our expectations, some of our beliefs, and much of our professional activity and personal well-being.
All of this, coupled with processes that were already underway such as digitalization and the ecological transition, has launched us into a new era of uncertainty and change. This is a form of uncertainty that affects big macroeconomic data and national and international politics, but also concrete, everyday issues: illness and mental health, workplaces, banking, the relationship of citizens to the state, the use of technology, the way we consume, the sources of our energy, and classic notions of reputation and social responsibility, among many other aspects of life.
This is a form of uncertainty that affects big macroeconomic data and national and international politics, but also concrete, everyday issues: illness and mental health, workplaces, banking, the relationship of citizens to the state, the use of technology and the way we consume.
However, nothing would be worse than to be paralyzed in the face of these numerous uncertainties. The responsibility of all of us, and particularly of those in charge of companies and communication, is to learn to manage them, to discover the opportunities they offer to become more effective and resilient and to transform them, as far as possible, into windows of opportunity for improvement.
This new issue of LLYC’s UNO magazine aims to provide some insights into uncertainty management. Here it’s clearly a matter of “Knowing is half the battle: understanding what we are up against is half the challenge. Therefore, the era of uncertainty must also be, if we want to navigate it properly, an era of knowledge. We will need to understand the rapid changes in work and consumption, how public institutions are being transformed, and how global trade is evolving at a time when globalization itself is beginning to be called into question. But also how society’s values are changing as a result of all these parallel processes. In many ways, uncertainty stems from the speed at which transformations are occurring. Our only certainty, one might think, is that changes will be rapid, constant, and often unexpected.
By the very nature of those uncertainties that we must learn to manage and turn into opportunities, this issue of UNO is somewhat special. Typically, each issue of the magazine is conceived by one of LLYC’s departments, which brings its expertise, industry experience, and in-depth knowledge of the customers and their needs. This time, we wanted to add a multidisciplinary approach, including the view and ideas of various departments of the company, and those of its customers. Meeting the new challenges will require a broad vision ranging from communication and marketing to public affairs, from digitalization to healthcare or talent management. This broad view is also geographically wide-ranging. If Europe and Spain are today plunged into a new and more complex form of uncertainty, Latin America, as our operations there are well aware, has learned not only to coexist with uncertainty but to incorporate it into its analysis and strategies. This Latin American perspective is reflected here: there are many lessons that Spaniards and Europeans can learn from it.
In short, it is about embracing uncertainty as a sign of the times. Not to feel incapacitated by it. It is about learning to manage, project, and lead by relying on it. To manage it and make the most of it. As some of the authors of this issue repeat, uncertainty forces us to concentrate more, to think better, to be more imaginative, to bet on creativity, and not to let ourselves be carried away by the inertia of what we know or the nostalgia of a more stable world. This is precisely the spirit of this UNO: it is not just a matter of surviving unexpected changes, but of turning them into a source of courage, imagination and daring. We must manage the uncertainty caused by two major black swans and anticipate the possibility of more. This is today, one of the main keys to success.
It is about embracing uncertainty as a sign of the times. Not to feel incapacitated by it. It is about learning to manage, to project, and to lead by relying on it. To manage it and make the most of it.