We are in unprecedented times that the world was cast into. Personal and organizational lives have all been thrown into uncertainty. The “New Normal” that we have had the excitements about is now “Uncertain; it is actually blinking”. We best. This is a state of managerial uncertainty. Decision making is faced with competing scenarios; having all the required information (certainty), having partial information (uncertainty) and having no information (risk).
Consequently, we all have a lot of information that we cannot rely on to make life spanning decisions. We do not seem to know certainly are rather in “Fresh Anomalies”. The pre-and–post-COVID-19 times have tied up society. This has left all of us in confusion. Leaders and the led are equally not sure of what decisions may work what to say or do next.
Rightly, the governments worldwide undertook lifting of the lockdown, fully or partially. In our Ugandan case, the government announced 2 weeks of this, then 3 weeks of the next and finally indefinite. The COVID-19 figures have left confusion, the Ugandan trend once praised is now being questioned; anecdotal evidences indicate that government guidance on COVID-19 is under public scrutiny. Idle arguments have been floated if really there is Corona in Uganda; if we are really capturing the figures well; if we have indeed invested rightly in fighting it; if we have really managed the pandemic and more.There is therefore cause to panic.
While the lockdown has been eased, there is still caution to take personal care, rather than becoming complacent. We would rather continue in fear and take care of the loops of vulnerability. We have now heard of the SOPs – standard operating procedures, and we seem to see these as new ways of living our life. At individual and possibly group level in our Christian communities, the guidelines to manage uncertainty are varied:
• We should focus on very short term decisions, of a week or a month. Do not commit to decisions beyond 2 months as the situation is still precarious.
• Carry out adequate consultation – let us seek views of other people before undertaking any action that may affect one’s life or family or organization.
• Likewise, we need to make in-depth checking of policies, regulations, guidelines and previous practices.
• We should use case by case principal, rather than generalizing things. Each situation should be seen in its own way and responded to accordingly.
• Avoid postponing action as we are uncertain of what next. You would rather do what fits the current needs than plan to do it better months ahead.
• Critical weighing between urgency and importance; where do we place our commitment, even using the scarce resources must be well directed.
• Keeping aware of the trends; let us not neglect any information as much as it may be partial. In this case, rumors, speculations and gossip will become more rampant thereby throwing us into more confusion.
This situation of uncertainty requires concerted efforts to traverse. If you are part of decision makers, at family or organizational level, be considerate. Society is psychologically tensed up, we are in fear, faced with scarcity; truly, many people are in a state of hopelessness. Therefore, avoid worsening their situation by your decisions or even words.
As Christian leaders, let us be aware of the situation our people are going through in small Christian communities, encouraging communion and support to one another. Let us continue observing personal responsibility and avoid the group think.
By Prof. Vincent Bagire
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