It’s Good to Be Unsettled
I 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.