It’s Good to Be Unsettled

1283513775_97899cae9cI facilitated an all-day strategy session with a Board of Directors yesterday, and the group did very well in clarifying its strategic choices. At the end, one of the participants said he was feeling a little "unsettled" by the conversation. I think this is a common--and important--feeling you get when you push through to clarity. It occurred to me that being unsettled is a good thing.

The opposite--feeling permanently settled--is like standing in concrete. Settled means no agility. Settled means no movement. I know that deep down we yearn for a calm, settled equilibrium in our organizational lives, where things just flow effortlessly, but I think that is an unhealthy fantasy. There's nothing wrong with flow, of course, but it is natural to expect bumps and shifts and interruptions to the flow. We work in complex systems. That's normal.

So we should welcome the back-and-forth between settled and unsettled. We should allow ourselves to be unsettled from time to time. That's where the opportunities lie.

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Let's Talk About Workplace Culture

3 Comments

  1. […] nice little blog post from Jamie Notter caught my eye the other day – It’s Good To Be Unsettled. In it he talks about working with a senior group on various strategy choices and one of the […]

  2. 03.06.2013 at 6:40 am

    […] nice little blog post from Jamie Notter caught my eye the other day – It’s Good To Be Unsettled. In it he talks about working with a senior group on various strategy choices and one of the […]

  3. 11.06.2013 at 11:57 pm

    Couldn’t agree more – unsettled is definitely a good thing! Settled often means a tsunami could be on the way. How many times have we seen those businesses where everything is ‘settled’ run into big problems. Being unsettled keeps you moving on your feet, anticipating (and welcoming change) and generally in a responsive mode. It’s the only way to be 🙂

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