A conversation with Joan Ball. Author of Stop, Ask, Explore: Learn to Navigate Change in Uncertain Times & Associate Professor Tobin College of Business

“And so the more that I looked at people outside of the ideal, this ideal that we should fail forward, this ideal that we should pivot forward, I became and remained fascinated with the notion of in that moment, when we have some kind of a catalyzing disruption or interruption, how do we get our bearings? How do we understand who we are in that and then how do we determine how we want to move forward? What are the actual steps that we take? What are the approaches that we use? What are the resources that we draw upon and how do we make sense of it?” –Joan Ball

In this episode of Control the Room, I had the pleasure of speaking with Joan Ball about her career helping organizations flourish in times of change.  She starts with insights into the resources, resourcefulness, and their connection to navigating uncharted territory.  Later, Joan shares how she uses Emergency Services as a metaphor to help her clients make sense of the dynamism they’re facing.  We then discuss the importance of including unstructured time in our schedules. Listen in for the steps to anticipate and thrive during disruption.   

Show Highlights

[1:40] How Joan Got Her Start Facilitating Organizational Change.

[9:25] How To Navigate In “Unchartered Territory”.

[18:01] How Unstructured Time Can Help Get You Unstuck.

[27:42] How Do We Begin To Build The Capacity To Explore And Execute.  

[30:20] Why Organizations Should Create Cultures Of “What Now Moments”.

Joan on Linkedin

Joan on Twitter

Joan on Instagram

About the Guest

Dr. Joan Ball is an Associate Professor of Marketing at St. John’s University and Founder of WOMBLab, an action research and transition services consultancy where she works with individuals, teams and organizations to develop their capacity to flourish in times of change and help others to do the same. Her work lives in the tricky space between ambition, impact, and well-being at a time when persistent change forces us to reimagine what it means to live meaningful and successful lives in new and dynamic circumstances. 

About Voltage Control

Voltage Control is a change agency that helps enterprises sustain innovation and teams work better together with custom-designed meetings and workshops, both in-person and virtual. Our master facilitators offer trusted guidance and custom coaching to companies who want to transform ineffective meetings, reignite stalled projects, and cut through assumptions. Based in Austin, Voltage Control designs and leads public and private workshops that range from small meetings to large conference-style gatherings.

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Full Transcript

Douglas: Welcome to the Control The Room Podcast, a series devoted to the exploration of meeting culture and uncovering cures to the common meeting. Some meetings have tight control, and others are loose. To control the room means achieving outcomes while striking a balance between imposing and removing structure, asserting and distributing power, leaning in and leaning out, all in the service of having a truly magical meeting. Thanks for listening. If you’d like to join us live for a session sometime, you can join our weekly Control The Room facilitation lab. It’s a free event to meet fellow facilitators and explore new techniques so you can apply the things you learn in the podcast in real-time with other facilitators. Sign up today at voltagecontrol.com/facilitation-lab. If you’d like to learn more about my book, Magical Meetings, you can download the Magical Meetings quick start guide, a free PDF reference with some of the most important pieces of advice from the book. Download a copy today at magicalmeetings.com.

Today I’m with Joan Ball. Joan is an associate professor in the Tobin College of Business at St John’s University and founder of womb lab and action research and transition services company. She is also the author of Stop, Ask, Explore: Learn to Navigate Change in Times of Uncertainty. Welcome to the show, Joan.

Joan: Hi, thank you so much for having me.

Douglas: It’s so good to have you here. I’ve been looking forward to this conversation, and as usual, let’s hear a little bit about how you got your start. How did you get into this work of change and navigating uncertainty?

Joan: Well, my path was a circuitous one. I really came out of school and started… my first job was as a stock broker, so I really studied economics and math. I was a stock broker at a time when the market crashed in ways that we had never seen before in the late 1980s. And that began a journey from finance into marketing, into public relations, into being a single mom with two kids and waiting tables and tending bar, and doing all sorts of things in my early career. And it really wasn’t until I was moving into a second career that I wound up teaching, getting involved in academic research, getting involved in change work. I think that really a lot of the work that I do is for people like I was, who didn’t have a set true north and are the kind of way finders in the world, so I set myself up with my own experience to do this kind of work, I think.

Douglas: Yeah, it’s fascinating. I think economics is an interesting field, especially the folks that lean into almost the anthropology kind of lens of economics, like what are the moving pieces and the driving dynamics behind stuff and maybe the research side of things. I’ve Always been a fan of Michael Lewis and just the curiosity that’s born out of that field of study.

Joan: Well, I think at the time, if I’m to be honest, and I think that I have this conversation with my students all the time, I really had no idea what I was curious about. I had no idea what I was even interested in. I’m a first generation college student. My father was a New York city fireman. My mother was a homemaker until my father got injured and she needed to go to school and she went to community college to become a nurse. There were five kids in the family. So for us, it was really a matter of necessity. And this idea, that old school notion of an American dream that if you got that college degree, that piece of paper was going to be some kind of Willy Wonka golden ticket to a certain kind of future. And so, I don’t think I thought a lot about learning. I don’t think I thought a lot about what I wanted to study. I think I thought a lot about this future that would exist on the other side of a college degree that I had very, very little sense of.

And when I first started studying, I actually started studying to be an engineer. That was my real interest. I wanted to be a mechanical and electrical engineer. The first school I went to was to the Air Force Academy, not because I wanted to be in the Air Force but because it was free and I did not have funds to go to college. There were so many of my decisions that were made along the way that were made for practical reasons that had to do with money, that had to do with moving up the social and the socioeconomic ladder that it wasn’t really until much later in my career that I started to even think about things like what did I really care about, what did I want to study? I don’t think I’m alone in that, especially when I talk to a lot of my students who are first generation college students.

Douglas: Certainly when practical matters come into play those can be forcing functions as far as what decisions can be made. I think that gets into some deeper questions around access. When we look at facilitation and how we support people, this came up a lot at the beginning of the pandemic. The people were calling it the digital divide.

Joan: Without a doubt. And the work that I do and where I’ve come, you and I have discussed this before, that I really began trying to understand stuckness. I wanted to know why people get stuck and I started looking at that more than a decade ago, way before pandemic, way before so many of the other catalyzing events that have made a lot of us be thinking about uncertain transitions. But I noticed this kind of stuckness among my students, early career leaders, leaders in transition at mid-career. And I wanted to understand more about it, not just take for granted that change is scary, people don’t like change, people don’t like transition so they often get stuck. I think we accept some of these things more than we should without at least interrogating them. And when I looked at stuckness, what it really pointed to for me, was resources and resourcefulness. Those two things really came up over and over again. People had barriers to progress because they lacked the resources that they need, and that is not just economic resources.

We’re talking about emotional resources, social resources, material resources, and physical resources. And then even among the people who had resources, this lack of resourcefulness, this having a catalyzing event and perhaps having an emotional response to it that led to fear or uncertainty or not knowing what to do next. And in that condition many people wind up getting frozen or overly certain, or move themselves forward too quickly. We love that notion of the pivot, we should pivot fail forward, which is wonderful if you’re highly, highly resourced. But if you have resource issues, failing forward and pivoting forward is a different circumstance, it’s a different game.

And so the more that I looked at people outside of the ideal, this ideal that we should fail forward, this ideal that we should pivot forward, I became and remained fascinated with the notion of in that moment, when we have some kind of a catalyzing disruption or interruption, how do we get our bearings? How do we understand who we are in that and then how do we determine how we want to move forward? What are the actual steps that we take? What are the approaches that we use? What are the resources that we draw upon and how do we make sense of it?

Douglas: Years ago, someone told me this analogy of the walking dead, so many companies are kind of just like still there and they have enough resources to continue moving and existing but they’re not adapting and changing, and it could be equated to laziness but it’s also like a signal or an artifact of them being adapted to a certain way of doing things or certain conditions. And they continue to do those things and they get used to doing them and it’s part of their identity, and it’s all fun. It’s maybe not like the top, the pinnacle, offering the darling what have you, but over time their influence starts to wane, their ability, their resources start to wane, and then they get to a point where they’re really, really stuck because then they actually don’t have the resources to make the change. So I guess I’m really curious in your work, have you found any good ways for people to notice these things a little earlier versus being maybe the frog in the boiling water that’s like slowly, slowly coming to a boil?

Joan: I think that we really are underestimating broadly in companies, among individuals, communities, politics, et cetera, we are underestimating how frequently the right answer to the questions that we’re posing is I don’t know. We are in this extremely dynamic environment. We’re having social changes. We’re having cultural changes. We’re having changes in the way that business gets done. We’ve got multiple generations in the workforce. We talk about all these things all the time. We very much recognize that we are in uncharted territory. And yet, we speak infrequently about how does one navigate in uncharted territory because what we have favored, for 50 years or more in business, is people who can very quickly assess a situation, come up with a solution, and then execute on a solution and do so quickly, efficiently and cost effectively.

That model is not as helpful when we’re dealing with uncharted territory, and yet we have not had other approaches emerge, new practices emerge. And we’re kind of maybe touching on it when we say it’s okay to fail, but we have yet to really embrace the notion that a leader would turn to their people and say, “I’m not sure the best route forward here. Here’s what we know. Here’s what we don’t know. How might we begin to explore this territory and get a sense of how we might move forward?” That is not considered decisive leadership. And as a result, we have a lot of people who are in positions of power or in positions of leadership who perceive themselves as needing to be moving very quickly and being very decisive about things that they really don’t have a clear sense of creative approach. I want to say that again, when faced with dynamic circumstances where a catalyzing event makes it unclear how best to proceed, we have very few approaches, tools and practices for that circumstance in business.

Now in other fields, we do have approaches for that. That’s why I draw upon emergency services in my work very, very frequently, because emergency services, professionals, first responders, they actually do have approaches and practices that they use, and they use them very effectively and they use them very quickly and they make choices without all the information. So this is not about analysis paralysis and we have to do more research. I’m a big fan of research, but sometimes we do have to act quickly. But that acknowledgement of I know a lot about business but I don’t know how to deal with this very unprecedented circumstance where we don’t have a best practice. We’re very, very attuned to the notion that we find a best practice, but we are in circumstances where we are first through the door on so many circumstances now that we need that notion of how do we pause and how do we make sense of the dynamism that we’re facing?

We can do it quickly. How do we acknowledge what we don’t know, so that we can begin inquiry and experimentation and sense making and discernment, all areas, skills and capacities that we have not taught people. We really do not focus in on how do you make sense of a disruptive circumstance? What does it mean to discern? And as a result, you have leaders who are calling upon just give me more data, can I please have more data? I want more data. And yet, what insights we draw from that data, how we discern which parts of that data are relevant to the experience on the ground and how that helps us to determine the best way forward, all the data in the world does not facilitate that part of the kind of leadership we need right now.

And we’re seeing that happen in our political landscape right now. We’re seeing that happen in our business landscape right now. We’re seeing it on our small teams. We’re seeing it in large organizations. We’re seeing it even in our families and in our homes, because we are dealing with… it’s not just COVID that is creating an environment right now where we have a lot of uncertainty. We’ve got multiple variables coming from multiple different directions, and we will spend the better part of the rest of the 21st century in a sense making inquiry experimentation kind of approach to just determine how does one live in a world where borders are no longer what they were for human history?

Where culture is no longer what it was for human history? Where it’s unclear where does being a human end and being an adapted human begin when we’re starting to think about using technology to enhance human thinking? These are huge existential questions that we’re trying to apply on a day to day basis to business, and we’re not pausing long enough to say we’ve created a level of complexity that we now have to make a different kind of sense of.

Douglas: I want to double stitch on that word pause because that’s something that came up for me a little bit earlier when you were talking about resources. You mentioned that resources aren’t always financial, but I think when people hear the word resources they often think of substantive things like here is a book, here is some money, here are other people, here is some wisdom, here is some data. But a pause, the ability to pause, could be a resource, a very valuable resource like rest and time to step away from, to use your example, the complexity we built around us. Because if we brought unnecessary, I would say we don’t tend to build complexity, I think we tend to build complicatedness, so we build all this stuff around us and if we don’t step outside of that and look at the real complexity that is the world that’s emerging around us, I think it could be overshadowed by all these complicated things we’ve built and we don’t see the trueness of what’s happening

Joan: Well, and what’s interesting about that is that even when we do choose to pause, my research and my practice show that we fill our pause time with activity. So we don’t just pause, we pause and go to a retreat, or we pause and go to some sort of another kind of event where we’re now going to be highly scheduled and wake up in the morning and do yoga or meditation. And then at lunch we’re going to have a lecture about how we should pursue our wellbeing. So we are so highly scheduled in our work and in our pause that having time to actually do nothing, not only to rejuvenate our physical resources but also to allow our minds the time to really make sense of this variety of inputs that it is being attuned to is something that we rarely, if ever, do.

And I’ll give you an example of this. My work, the way that I do my research, it’s something called action research. And so participatory action research means that rather than me using surveys or rather than me doing experiments, let’s say, I engage with people directly and I learn about stuckness by helping them get unstuck. I learn about transitions by helping people through transitions. And so, we engage together in this behavior. They know that they are part of research and we really co-create the kind of solutions they need. And as those solutions emerge, I learn a ton about what people need what exists, what doesn’t exist, et cetera. And this particular point that we’re talking about, this pause, this ability to actually stop and have unstructured time to be able to consider, was something that came up over and over again. So much so that my husband and I renovated a space in the garage structure that was on our property in the Hudson Valley in New York, and I have spent for the past three to four years inviting individual people to come for an individual unstructured retreat in this space.

They arrive on the day that they arrive and I spend three hours with them just so that they can settle themselves into the space, and then I do not see or speak to them for three or five days, depending upon which they choose. I don’t feed them. There are no appointments. There is nothing. There is this time where they can make their choices about how they do it so that the rhythm of their days can be their own. And then at the end of the time, we spend another three hours together to make sense of the experience and kind of transition them back out into their time. It has been remarkable. These are leaders in companies, leaders in the academic world, these are community leaders, et cetera, who come for this experience.

And almost every single one of them tells me that it is the first unstructured time that they have had either ever in their adult life or for many, many years. And that just having that kind of time, where they have nothing scheduled in the calendar and now have to suss out how to use the time, it is a combination of liberating and absolutely frightening to them, and what it generates is remarkable. Very different for different people, but it can be very, very remarkable for people to make this kind of time to be quiet alone with themselves.

Douglas: I have a little hack for that for folks that maybe can’t get away for a full week or can’t afford to be a part of a program. Get in the car or go head out on the subway with no destination in mind. It’s almost like reading a choose your own adventure book, and it can be quite interesting. I found myself sometimes driving in circles and going like, “What am I doing?” But at the end of it, it’s pretty fascinating how it just unwinds the brain

Joan: Without a doubt. And it’s interesting that you bring up cost because going back to the beginning of the conversation, I very much made a decision in this work that it would not only be for wealthy people, because I do think that very often what happens is that any kinds of interventions that we have of these sorts of helping people to stop, ask, explore, to pause, to open up periods of time for inquiry and to do experimentation and explore through experimentation, that it is viewed then as being a privilege. Right? There are a privileged few who have the time, the energy or the money to be able to carve out that space, and then they’re the others who cannot and do not. I very purposely work with people of all levels of resource when it comes to monetary resource.

Indeed, those retreats are… there’s a cost associated or pay what you can, and I have done it. It’s really, really interesting how the variety of people who go from paying the full freight for it to people who have left me a hundred dollar gift card to the local coffee shop and everything in between, and some people who have not paid and who come. I have some returning guests who have come more than once who I do not charge because they’re doing really important work in the world and I feel like it’s important for them to have that space. And so this idea of not coming to Joan, to your point, this is not about that there’s some magic that happens in my spaces or happens with me, but how do we use the hacks like you’ve described or say actually two days is important. It does take time to unwind. So how might I design time to do that that is within my means?

And that’s so important to me and my work, because I hear over and over again from people who don’t have a lot of means, “Well, I would do X if I had the means, but I don’t have the means and so I don’t.” And when we sit down and we begin to make sense of things, everyone can carve out more time than they do. Now some people can carve out more time than others of course, those disparities will always exist. But people who have very, very little means carving out time to make sense of things, and I would contend that the less means you have the more important it is to carve out time, to understand how to make sense of the circumstances you’re in, because every decision actually is more important in terms of how you use those limited resources.

Douglas: Yes, 100%. And you can almost think about when it becomes more important like that, then you would essentially start to subdivide or atomize the time. So if some people have more time and they’re thinking about, “Oh, I’m going to spend a week,” they’re thinking in larger time buckets, “Well, if I need to laser in on how I’m spending minutes or hours of the day then maybe I’m just carving out minutes or hours of the day to take a moment to step out of the frenzy.” Which is funny because at the end of the day, whether it’s a week long or 30 minutes long, you still had to schedule that time to be unscheduled, which is a little ironic.

Joan: It’s completely ironic, but also really, really important. So it’s both in there. There’s a paradox there without a doubt. What I find with people is, as they begin to prioritize it, it becomes easier and easier to schedule that time. And not only does it become easier, the more time you spend reflecting in whatever way, and again it’s not my way of reflecting, it’s finding one’s own set of practices for reflecting and really pulling together the toolbox of moving. In my work I call it moving from exploration into execution and back into exploration, that there are these times that we really do need to open up that exploratory space for inquiry, that pressing forward and executing has a point of diminishing return because we’re really not clear on which direction that we want to be going.

Douglas: That’s absolutely right. And that reminds me of folks in the innovation space, talking about companies exploring versus exploiting, and it’s similar to where I was getting at with the frog in the boiling water, because if they’re stuck in that exploitation mode it slowly, without them realizing it, becomes less and less effective, the thing they’re exploiting is no longer relevant. And I think there’s some interesting research out there around experimentation and exploration. I saw this study that talked about what they called hot streaks. So when you see people that have these hot streaks in their career, that was… I was going to say premeditated, but basically before the… I don’t know how much they premeditated or whether or not it was intentional, but before the hot streak there was always a zone of deep exploration and experimentation.

So I love that you’re saying that, hey, we can’t just stay in one mode, we have to be able to toggle between the modes because otherwise we won’t know what’s coming. And it’s similar to some advice I got when I was first starting a consultancy, was that it’s a very common trap where when times get busy you kind of let off the gas pedal on the sales. But then when times get slow, now you’ve been off the gas pedal for a while and you had to rebuild that whole pipeline, which can take it a while, so then you’ve got this giant gap. And so it’s very similar advice. We’ve got to govern that. We’ve got to keep a little bit on that gas pedal to keep it alive. So we should still be out there exploring, experimenting, finding out where the leads are, if it is sales or whatever discipline we’re applying it to, we have to be kind of tilling that soil and seeing what’s out there and increasing our understanding.

Joan: I’d just like to add to that, it is helpful to do that. My interest in my work is how do we do that? I think we have really created a huge machine of people doing research and then sharing insights into what people should do. And we should have a growth mindset and we should be vulnerable and we should and should, and we should experiment and we should and we should. And many people who show up for some of those individual retreats will show up with 10, 12 books in a canvas bag that are all the books that they’re reading right now of all the things that they should be doing. My interest is, how do we then learn from those insights and develop our own bespoke practices utilizing what we’re learning? That is a whole different part of the process. So I would hate for someone who’s listening to this to come away thinking, “Oh, I have to get better at learning to toggle between execution and exploration,” without pointing to the notion of that being a capacity that one can build.

And so, how does one approach building that capacity? It leads to a whole new inquiry of am I in execution or exploration right now? Why? Did I make that choice or is that just momentum, existing momentum? If it’s existing momentum, is that helpful momentum that I should continue and pour fuel on? Or is that momentum moving me in a direction that I might not want to be in? How would I know? What are my practices for discerning which it is? Have I done those practices for discerning which it is recently? And you begin to see that there’s this whole set of questioning of am I on the right path? Am I operating in a way that is helpful in this moment? Now, if we go back to emergency services people, they do that rather naturally. The firefighters roll up onto the scene. They don’t just roll the hose off the back of the truck and run in the front door. They go, they create a small emergency operations center, they gather the information that they can gather as quickly as they can.

They develop a preliminary approach because they know they know fire, but they also know they don’t know this fire. So there’s this combination of confidence in experience and capacity and capability, and humility of the recognition that this particular situation has its own set of circumstances. Maybe there are people in the building, maybe there aren’t. Maybe this is a highly flammable building, maybe it is not, et cetera. Now they go in, and when they do their first pass they are bringing that confidence and humility mix into that first pass. And if they are doing their job well, they are also watching for where their first instinct might be flawed or dangerous or operating on less information than they need or maybe new information changes the approach they think they need to take. And now they are very, very comfortable with changing direction because they are very much in the circumstance as it stands.

That is harder to do in organizations. We have not structured our organizations to do that. Some innovation centers perhaps, but more and more we need to be moving into not just having that as an approach to business but recognizing that that has a human toll. There is a real human toll to placing people in circumstances where they’re in perpetual uncertainty, and people really crave having some solid ground under their feet. As a result, staying, hanging in that liminal space, hanging in that space of saying catalyzing event, I’m uncertain about how to proceed, can we open up some space between knowing what to do and some future action we will take, and opening up this transitional learning space where we’re acting. We’re not sitting on our hands. We’re not in analysis paralysis. We are taking actions, very concerted actions, but the purpose of those actions is not to solve the problem it’s to learn. It is really giving ourselves a learning component of sussing out and discovering the best route forward.

Douglas: It strikes me hearing that, there’s kind of two things at play. There’s the, to use your word, the catalyzing events and how do we even respond to them and is the organization kind of well equipped to handle them and is the individual equipped to handle them? Are they willing to say, “I don’t know,” and have a discussion about this? But there’s also this, I would say, probably bigger issue, because we’re not confronted with catalyzing moments every day, but we are confronted by this momentum you speak of. We are on that hamster wheel every day and are we taking the time to say, “Is this the wheel I should be on? Does it make sense to continue doing this thing?” And it can be difficult to make that decision sometimes, I’d say often. We all can struggle with the why we’re even pursuing a task.

It could be that this is culturally something that it’s been customary. We had this meeting every Wednesday and so this is why we do it. Or whatever other tasks or other things, and they tend to build up, these actions and things that we do, and so to come back to your earlier point about just the scheduled nature of everything we do. And so I think that’s pretty profound. I just want to encourage folks to really think about how are they taking these moments in their day to think about, “Hey, where’s this momentum creeping in,” because I just wanted to anchor back in on that point because I think that’s pretty huge.

Joan: You’re absolutely right, it is huge. And we tend to create those moments when we’ve been disrupted or interrupted. So it tends to be, and those can come from outsider insight, so it’s either that something happens in our environment and now we’re thinking about those questions, when we’ve been disrupted from something like COVID or something external to us. Or, we wait until we’re so sick and tired of being sick and tired and we’re feeling burnt out and whatever it is, and that’s the internal or interior catalyzing disruption. But in both of those cases, we are now beginning the sense making process and the discernment process from a point of weakness, a point of fear, a point of vulnerability and a point of threat. So we’re really waiting until we’re at our least creative, our least generative, to begin thinking about those things.

And in my work, what I invite people to, what I encourage people to do, is to actually build in these kind of speed bumps intentionally before there are catalyzing interruptions and disruptions. Preparation in the same way that we prepare for the possibility of a fire by having fire drills and creating escape maps. How can we begin recognizing that catalyzing disruptions or interruptions are unavoidable? It’s part of life, it’s part of growth, it’s part of living well and doing good business, but that we can begin the preparation for what we might do when we were interrupted or disrupted before those interruptions and disruptions come, when we have more bandwidth to be able to be thinking about those things creatively. So instead of finding the resources when we’ve been disrupted, how can we be gathering the resources before we’re disrupted so that we know exactly what we would tap into if certain things happen to and with and for us. But then also, why wait for the emergency or the disruption or interruption?

Why not also have periodic times when we come together and ask ourselves these kind of questions. We can build it into the culture. So I’ve got certain organizations that I do train the trainer with the work that I do for people who bring this into their organizations, because the best people to be doing this work are people who are in an organization and intimately knowledgeable about the very unique challenges that people face rather than kind of bringing in a consultant. I go in and I talk to organizations, but it’s always a deep desire for me to go into an organization and identify someone who can then be the person on the ground who is using this work with their teams. And so when COVID happened, the language of this work, I call those catalyzing interruptions and disruptions what now moments. It’s any what now moment, it can be low stakes, high stakes, whatever it is, but it’s a point at which I’ve had a catalyzing disruption and I’m not sure what to do next.

What now moment, what now? Well, when you’ve got a whole team that recognizes that a catalyzing disruption is a what now moment, and when you’ve created a culture where someone can walk into their boss’s office and say, “Hey, I just had a what now moment with such and such client.” And now the boss will say, “Okay, sit down. Let’s talk about what we’ve got going on.” And that culture was created before the catalyzing disruption, and if people have been invited to think about those kind of catalyzing disruptions as potentially challenging but also potentially generative so that they’re now having a discussion about what’s changed. What part of that that’s changed makes us vulnerable and how do we resource for that? But also what part of what’s changed opens up some possibilities for new and potentially better actions and activities in that circumstance. Now what’s happening is that sense making is not just how do we now defend against what’s come against us? It becomes this is just a change of circumstance and we’re shifting from execution to exploration because the dynamics have changed.

Douglas: So we’re coming to an end here and I want to make sure that you have an opportunity to leave our listeners with a final thought.

Joan: My final thought is, it’s actually possible to flourish in times of transition and that takes practice. And so I would encourage and invite anyone who’s listening to this to begin to think about their practice of dealing with uncertain transitions.

Douglas: And make sure to check out the book, Stop, Ask, Explore. Thank you so much, Joan, for coming on the show. I really appreciated having you.

Joan: Thanks a lot. I really enjoyed talking to you. It was a great conversation.

Douglas: Thanks for joining me for another episode of Control The Room. Don’t forget to subscribe to receive updates when new episodes are released. If you want to know more, head over to our blog where I post weekly articles and resources about radical inclusion, team health and working better. Voltagecontrol.com.