Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Stop, Ask, Explore

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Stop, Ask, Explore

Learn to Navigate Change in Times of Uncertainty

Kogan Page,

15 min read
8 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Learn to bolster your resilience and seize opportunities when uncertainty strikes.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


Many people feel stuck when they’re navigating uncertainty in their personal or professional life. Don’t despair; there’s help. Associate professor of marketing Joan P. Ball offers easy-to-follow practices to help you steer through transitional phases. Change is a constant, Ball explains, so learn to embrace moments of liminality – the uncertain times that come between stages of your career or life – and create spaces for learning during transitions. Gleaning insights from the latest psychological and social science research, Ball empowers those who feel lost to build resilience and follow their curiosity.


Everyone faces uncertainty. Learn to respond with “dispassionate curiosity” rather than react impulsively.

Inevitably, at some point in your life, you’ll contend with uncertainty that will leave you unsettled and make you ask yourself, “What now?”To figure out what comes next, reframe these moments as periods that offer you the potential to create, reflect and redefine your priorities. When What now? moments interrupt your life, they often trigger disruptive negative emotions, such as disorientation and despair. Don’t impulsively react. Instead, pause to reflect. Then respond by approaching such junctures with “dispassionate curiosity” rather than fear or emotional reactivity. To manage uncertainty and improve your decision-making, change your emphasis from knowing to learning.

When you face the uncertainty of a What now? moment, do the following:

  • Stop: If you’re feeling incendiary emotions as a response to a perceived threat – for instance, the possibility of losing your job – stop and acknowledge these emotions. Pause until you feel calm and collected enough to respond to the situation.
  • Ask: Create a “curiosity...

About the Author

Joan P. Ball is the founder of the WOMB Service Design Lab consultancy and an associate professor of marketing at St. John’s University in New York.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic