Is ambiguous enough?

Is ambiguous enough?

To doubt ambiguity is daring. Have we not worked long enough to allow the play of forces between both poles in an all-participatory way?

And yet, in view of the discussions about hybrid life that will remain in the future, it is appropriate to reflect on this and to pay attention to other models of thinking and decision-making.

The solution lies in more than both.

Both, the one with the other follow a systemic consulting loop into the positions of meta-validation, into potential, creative discarding and the search for transformation into creative innovation.

Two models of consideration as pars pro toto are given here. Both provide structure without prejudging content. They promote the essential ingredient of desired development, namely reflection and ownership:

A first model follows the format of the pentalemma from the school of Matthias Varga von Kibed and Insa Sparrer, who trace it back to the ancient, Brahmanic jurisprudence of the Indians:

– The One, Old, Existing is the first and starting point for our considerations – for the strategists of the old school, the inventory of the current state. Let us take as an example the current professions and their functional and legal descriptions.

– The other, the new, the desired future – in many development approaches also of non-trivial systems the target, the goal follows as second position. Following our example, here are those professions which futurologists consider to be necessary in the future. I have found one of these functions under the designation “Chief Remote Officer”, a “liaison officer” equipped with high social competence and transformation knowledge between the then no longer existing hierarchies. Can this go well, some will ask, and also want to recognize as: the “emperor’s new clothes” (loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen).

The journey has begun

We are already on the journey between the one, existing and the other, conceivable new, We alternate between our doubts and considerations, how the way from the actual to the target is to be accomplished.

Now the third position of the “and”, the “either and or”, the “both” is reached.

According to our example of the future world of work and its professions, this could mean naming those professions that remain valued, perhaps further developed and enriched by the addition of new knowledge. Or vice versa, new professions are supported by highly developed fact-evident, old knowledge: Who is not familiar with giving his current bread and butter job also a special touch through personal talents?
Or also, completely up-to-date, to exercise several occupations, activities parallel, this at different places, at different times and then also still many other facets more.

– The confusion because of the many possibilities and expressions aims at the fourth position, the “neither of both”, and does not have to mean to renounce all these possibilities, but rather in the systemic loop, in the daily Scrum and other helpful methods, to check the journey of the experiences, the result of the considerations, developments.

Which questions did we forget to ask?

Are our conclusions valid?

For the development of the professional world, this would perhaps also mean questioning whether all framework conditions, the regional markets, the needs of customers, our families and friends, and not least our own wishes, have been considered enough.

Do flexibility, agility, ambiguity offer enough answers in times of chaos?

How much structure is needed to tame disruption and dystopia?

What does “taming” mean and who is still in control and when?

In considering future career choices, this could lead us to question the profession of communicator, facilitator, consultant. Will we still need these professions or will they be replaced by artificial intelligences – remote learning, so to speak? And also: which intelligence will fix our drain?

– The journey starts from the beginning – looking at the One, old, then to the New, and so on to the “neither – nor”. Are we now sure about the future developments, about our part in it?

No? Now everything can happen!

– Then comes the master throw, the penta, the fifth position, a new dimension: the change and the completely different.

Which visions accompany us in our development, including our own ability, skills, responsibility?
How to do it? The magic word is transformation, letting go of the old, the new, both, none of the above … and then in their place: the dream of the best of all worlds.
For our example of future professional worlds, this means what? This long journey begins with a hearty, courageous “I don’t know”. Now everything can happen.

For the realists, for whom dreaming is too exhausting (written in times of Corona without cynicism, but with compassion), a still current solution from the workshop of Steve de Shazer is offered here:

The appreciative “Yes, exactly this one” is followed by a complementary consideration and examination, a “and also this one”, which then leads to a “maybe beyond”.

The appreciative, necessary quantum of security through the acceptance of the existing is strengthened and upgraded by the friendly interpretation, the change of perspectives and thus leads to the accepted new. 
Certain professions, especially social and infrastructure-related professions, will probably be needed for a long time; they will have to experience a different valuation. Other, trendier job descriptions will probably soon disappear or be absorbed into others as a result of digitalization and AI. And then, how will we shape cohesion and culture “beyond” that?

Perhaps this reflection on the basis of future job descriptions is an incentive to extend these two wonderful didactic and semantically rich models to other life situations?Whatever happens, let’s not allow ourselves to lose the personal responsibility and ability to reflect and decide:

Who or what do I want to be, what skills to use for what?
Write to us, we are looking forward to your input.


Yours Barbara and Michel