Uncertainty Avoidance describes a cultural norm related to a preference and focus on adaptability and flexibility versus an emphasis on predictability and planning.

Culturally diverse teams often see this value perspective show up in how team members approach risk planning, sharing information, decision making, etc. Culturally intelligent strategies can help leaders and teams to leverage this diversity of perspective and approach as they seek to nurture innovation and excellence. How can we avoid the ‘dominant’ cultural preference on the team from taking over?

Example: In a risk planning session, most teams are endeavoring to balance the activities of mitigation and contingencies related to known risks. ‘Group Think’, which allows a dominant opinion to sway the entire group, can lead to risks not being identified or worse. Creating a safe place for team members to question “But will it work?” is critical, while also allowing space and time for experimentation and failure when appropriate. (“Okay, let’s give this a try and see.”)

How does your team navigate this challenge? Have you seen bias related to differences in how various team members perceive uncertainty?

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