Saturday, October 2, 2021


Those forethoughtful and contextual minds that collectively sense the rising horizon, are able to make reliable predictions, co-develop the future landscapes together and make leadership influence pervasively.

The environment today is constantly changing and forcing the business to “adjust” timely. Uncertainty and risk are inherent in every venture. Contextualization broadens perspectives and digs deeper, to connect wider dots and make logical reasoning, see connections between the things, rather than isolated issues. It helps the leaders see further than what all others see - to build their vision; understand issues from new angles - to spark creativity, and explore cause-effect relationships of varying issues - to capture insight. 

Contextualization involves the convergence of the following abilities to understand the past, perceive today, predict what will happen and take steps further - what they should do upon it.

An intuitive grasp of relevant past events or variables: The contemporary society is the product of the past. When moving forward, the past is like the rearview, you need to look at it once a while. To understand it, you need to know the facts and more importantly, the underlying patterns. A healthy way of presenting history is to give people many points of view and allow them to identify any immediate gaps or dangers that make the forward view unrealistic; recognize possible conflicts that could approach from where they have been, learn from the past events and instruct them to decide by making up their own minds.

Either steering change or managing innovation, it’s critical to see what is behind us if you want to see where you are going, and never lose your visibility forward. Innovation management has a very low success rate compared to the other types of business initiatives. Thus, grasp of relevant past events is a critical angle to have an innovation methodology versus selected case studies to emulate; identify those critical variables, which are contextual, optimize complexity. Keep in mind, "past performance doesn't assure future success." Often the case studies do not address the critical variables at hand for the current innovation initiatives. Do not focus too long, too much on the past, otherwise, you will not be prepared to react when potential obstacles enter your path ahead.

Acute awareness of present contextual variables: Context is of utmost importance, it shapes insightful views of complex things and deepens one’s perceptions of a specific cause and effect in a specific context or the core issues of a situation which leads to true understanding and resolution. Contextualization aids us in understanding what’s relevant and what’s not. To solve complex problems, contextualization is a great way to overcome bias by appreciating different viewpoints and enhancing interdisciplinary understanding, seeing the context you are part of, allows one to identify the leverage points and then 'choose' the 'decisive' factors, take acute awareness of present contextual variables, seek fresh knowledge and unique insight. From a management perspective, the business is complex and the organization is contextual today. Without the contextual understanding of people, process, and technology, the blind spots, understanding gaps, and change pitfalls are inevitable.

Technically, contextual understanding can often trigger creativity. A leader works through the context across the boxes to inspire alliance and shape the new box of thinking to encourage innovation. The art and science of holistic and innovative problem-solving are in the creation of the context, which some people will perceive immediately, but others feel struggling to capture the objective big picture perspectives. Analogically, context is part of a polygon. Each vertex dynamically interacts with the other vertices, change happens as it interacts. Ideas are created at those interactions and intersection points. It likes to figure out how much chance and prior conditions there are, and get the idea of looking at where things overlap to see if there are useful convergence ideas - innovation in the configuration of properties.

Conscious awareness of the preferred future interacts so that the practitioner can exert influence and make appropriate decisions: Change is in small adaptations that tilt scales, but also in big paradigm shifts that rebuild the scales. In order to move into the uncertain future smoothly, assuming the risk is highly likely to occur, corporate management needs to gain lessons learned via relevant experiences involved in current or in the past, estimate the impact of upcoming events that may happen in strategy/operation plans, and the consequences. It might be good to work with plans and assumptions and scenarios, as long as you keep in mind that these have been elaborated from past experiences and past knowledge.

The pace of paradigm shifts is quickening, the pace of small adaptations is quickening, aggregating to bigger shifts in scales quicker than previously. Your sense of meaning comes from the entire set of narratives, retrospectives, and perspectives with all of their ambiguity and inconsistency. When you gain new knowledge and when you change your understanding of the past, new possibilities and interpretations of them emerge in the future. The whole situation relies heavily on intuition and logical sense as well. We can make provision to meet any eventuality. Besides information precision, the highest level of future sensitivity comes from appreciation of contextualization. Business leaders have to observe deep, ask logical questions, forecast upcoming change with a certain degree of precision.

In a world of uncertainty and ambiguity, no one can control the outcome of emerging properties completely. If it is really unpredictable, that means the future cannot be, in any way, deduced from the past completely. Those forethoughtful and contextual minds that collectively sense the rising horizon, are able to make reliable predictions, co-develop the future landscapes together and make leadership influence pervasively.


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