When global crises like Covid-19 trigger widespread anxiety, it helps to hear from voices of reason and logic.
As a quantitative futurist, professor of strategic foresight at the NYU Stern School of Business and founder of The Future Today Institute (FTI), Amy Webb remains one of the most reliable guiding forces for businesses and markets looking to anticipate the future.
Last week, on the eve of releasing her 13th annual Tech Trends Report – the largest ever, spotlighting 406 tech trends you need to be aware of – Webb sent a special email to her followers addressing the topic of anxiety in times of uncertainty, and offered up valuable insights and tools.
Her sobering message right now? Rather than try to predict, do your best to prepare.
In the letter, which she later posted online, Webb shared the “Axes of Uncertainty” tool, which she and other futurists use to make forecasts during times of deep uncertainty. She explained how leaders can use it when dealing with disruptions in their organizations, adding that people grappling with uncertainty on a personal level will also find it helpful.
“Some of what surfaces will highlight opportunities you didn’t see before, and you will likely also see existential risk you’d never imagined,” said Webb. “The more plausible outcomes you can discover, and the more flexible you can be in your thinking and planning, the more assured you will feel about your future. That’s how you break the vicious cycle of corporate anxiety. And there’s an added benefit: if you identify existential risk early, you have time to take action.”
Adapt by Going Virtual
Webb, a masterful presenter who delivers memorable experiences on all platforms, is focused now on translating live speaking engagements into virtual events and online learning experiences. It’s a shift many leaders and their teams are grappling with today, and it requires changes in mindset, expectations and ways of communicating.
To learn more about the “Axes of Anxiety” tool, read Webb’s letter, How Futurists Cope With Uncertainty. You can also download a free copy of Webb’s much-anticipated, 13th Annual Tech Trends Report here.