Online Microcredential in Business & Management

Management of Uncertainty: Leadership, Decisions and Action

Develop greater leadership skills and learn to make effective decisions in conditions of radical uncertainty.

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The Open UniversityThe Open University

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Discover how to make effective decisions when faced with radical uncertainty

£500. Normal price £750. Save a third.

This microcredential will support you in developing the skills, capabilities and perspectives needed in a world of radical uncertainties.

You’ll develop new ways of engaging with radical uncertainties, think critically about how uncertainties are distributed in societies and organisations, develop greater resilience in the face of radical uncertainty and unexpected events, and grow your own capacity for leadership and action.

Enhance your problem-solving skills and find opportunity in business uncertainty

Brexit, climate change, COVID-19, social and political change, terrorism, disruptive technologies and shifts in geopolitical power are just a few of the sources of radical uncertainty organisations around the world are facing. There is increasing awareness that agility and innovation in the face of uncertainty and the unexpected are vital capabilities.

For many in leadership and management positions, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the hazards of the unexpected, while others have shown remarkable innovation and agility, seizing the opportunities that uncertainty can create.

Learn how to make effective decisions using real-world examples

This microcredential will provide you with the insights to lead, make timely decisions, and take effective action when faced with issues that arise from radical uncertainty.

You’ll benefit from the expertise and insights of both academic experts and senior leaders from multiple disciplines and sectors, as well as major research network, Challenging Radical Uncertainty in Science, Society and the Environment (CRUISSE).

Learn from real senior leaders’ experience of radical uncertainty

Combining over 30 years of research and expertise in the challenges of decision making and acting in conditions of radical uncertainty, this course draws on management theory, psychology, philosophy, sociology, and economics.

Under guidance from The Open University, you’ll apply ideas in the course directly to uncertainties you face in your work and reflect on these in collaboration with other learners. You’ll apply what you learn to your own challenges in a final project that reflects on your learning and future development.

Is this microcredential suitable for those in senior leadership and managerial roles in business, the public sector or third sector?

Yes. This course will support those in, or aspiring to, more senior roles to develop how they engage with uncertainty and build a foundation to continue developing leadership skills and capabilities.

What skills will you learn?

  • Critical analysis
  • Perspective taking
  • Personal resilience
  • Engaging with uncomfortable knowledge
  • Tolerance of ambiguity and ambivalence
  • Ethical awareness
  • Leadership
  • Influencing
  • Management
  • Planning for uncertainty
  • Decision making
  • Strategic thinking

What you will achieve

By the end of the microcredential, you’ll be able to...

  • Identify the ways in which as individuals, organisations and societies we construct certainty and avoid uncertainty.
  • Apply multiple perspectives on uncertainty and tools for engaging with uncertainty whilst still being able to act.
  • Reflect critically on the uses, limitations and dangers of big data, artificial intelligence, and models, in contexts of uncertainty.
  • Demonstrate a critical and ethical awareness of how uncertainty is socially distributed in society and in organisations and how your actions as a manager/leader can impact this.
  • Reflect on and develop your own capacity for leadership under uncertainty.
  • Evaluate assumptions critically, in planning, forecasting, modelling, and strategizing to support more mindful organising and greater resilience in the face of uncertainty.
  • Demonstrate the following skills: critical analysis; perspective-taking; personal resilience; engaging with uncomfortable knowledge; tolerance of ambiguity and ambivalence; ethical awareness.

Are you eligible for this microcredential?

To join this microcredential you will ideally have:

  • A Bachelors degree or an equivalent level qualification
  • Experience of working in a role that exposes you to some of the significant uncertainties that organisations face
  • A strong interest in improving your capabilities in leading, managing, deciding and acting in the face of major uncertainties

Is this microcredential right for you?

This microcredential would benefit anyone currently working, or looking to work in:

  • Senior roles in business, the public sector or third sector
  • Strategic analysis or consulting
  • New product development
  • Managing or commissioning large complex projects

The course delivers transferable skills for any industry and is relevant across the board.

This course has a global focus and the skills you’ll learn will be relevant for learners from countries around the world.

Syllabus

What happens before, during, and after your microcredential

  • Before learning

    You’ll have access to our online welcome area where you’ll be able to start conversations with fellow learners and read any announcements relating to your microcredential.

  • Course

    From 11 Oct 2021

    Management of Uncertainty: Leadership, Decisions and Action

    Build the skills and capabilities required to manage and lead in the face of radical uncertainty

    12 weeks

    13 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Introduction to the course
      • Welcome to the course
      • Introducing radical uncertainty
      • Discussing uncertainties
      • Wicked problems
      • Week 1 review
    • Week 2

      Objective accounts of uncertainty, and their limits
      • Welcome to Week 2
      • Perspectives on decision-making in contexts of risk
      • Humans as flawed decision-makers
      • Are humans really irrational?
      • Defensive decision-making
      • Week 2 review
    • Week 3

      The social construction of certainty and uncertainty
      • Welcome to Week 3
      • Introducing a social perspective on decision-making
      • Sensemaking, breaches of expectation and anticipatory thinking
      • A social perspective on entrepreneurial opportunity
      • Week 3 review
    • Week 4

      Uncertainty, stories, imagination and emotion
      • Welcome to Week 4
      • Narrative sensemaking
      • Emotions in sensemaking and strategy
      • Conviction narratives and the role of ambivalence
      • Week 4 review
    • Week 5

      Modelling, scenarios and big data – their uses and dangers
      • Welcome to Week 5
      • Modelling in contexts of radical uncertainty
      • Adaptive and robust approaches to planning
      • Big data and AI
      • Week 5 review
    • Week 6

      Organising for radical uncertainty: collective mindfulness and organisational resilience
      • Welcome to Week 6
      • High Reliability Organising
      • Collective mindfulness
      • Applying collective mindfulness to mainstream organisations
      • Extending collective mindfulness
      • Week 6 review
    • Week 7

      Leading and influencing in the face of radical uncertainty
      • Welcome to Week 7
      • Challenging leadership and leadership challenges
      • Leadership in extreme contexts
      • Leadership, influence and political skill
      • Week 7 review
    • Week 8

      Tolerating 'not knowing' and being curious whilst still acting
      • Welcome to Week 8
      • γνῶθι σεαυτόν – Know thyself
      • Wisdom and uncertainty
      • Uncomfortable knowledge
      • Mindfulness for ego-decentering and accepting uncertainty
      • Week 8 review
    • Week 9

      Socially responsible management of uncertainty
      • Welcome to Week 9
      • Who is responsible for the social costs of uncertainty?
      • Organisational responsibility and uncertainty
      • Social responsibility as uncertainty management
      • Week 9 review
    • Week 10

      Your assessment: applying course ideas to your own experience and current challenges
      • Welcome to Week 10
      • Assessment overview
      • Developing Part 1 of your assessment
      • Developing Part 2 of your assessment
      • Improving Parts 1 and 2 through Action Learning Group feedback
      • Week 10 review
    • Week 11

      Your assessment: reflecting on your learning and creating a learning action plan
      • Welcome to Week 11
      • Developing Part 3 of your assessment
      • Developing Part 4 of your assessment
      • Improving Parts 3 and 4 though Action Learning Group feedback
      • Week 11 review
    • Week 12

      Finalising and submitting your assessment
      • Welcome to Week 12
      • Finalising your assessment
      • Important guidance about submitting your assessment
      • Thank you and good luck!
  • After learning

    Once you’ve successfully completed the microcredential, you’ll receive your academic credits from The Open University. You’ll also have ongoing, unlimited access to the course materials.

What you will receive

15 UK credits at Postgraduate level from The Open University

You’ll receive an Open University certificate confirming that you have received 15 academic credits at postgraduate level 7. Credits are awarded on passing the final assessment.

Find out how credits work and where you can use them in our FAQs.

What is a microcredential?

Microcredentials are designed to upskill you for work in rapidly-growing industries, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree. Your microcredential can stand alone as an independent credential, and some also offer academic credit to use towards a degree.

Learn online with expert instructors

Complete online courses led by experts over 12-16 weeks with a dedicated group of professionals.

Complete project-based assessments

Test your understanding with online tutor-marked assessments and exercises.

Earn a professional credential

Finish your learning and pass your assessments to gain an accredited credential.

Advance further in your career

Use your microcredential as evidence of your specialised skills and progress further in your industry.

Career-focused learning by The Open University

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

  • Established

    1969
  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Delivered by experts

I am a Professor of Organisational Behaviour who researches and advises on how consumers, bankers and leaders make decisions in conditions of uncertainty. My blog is at http://emotionalfinance.net

Dr Layla Branicki is Senior Lecturer in HRM and Organisation Studies in The Open University Business School. Layla has a specific interest in understanding uncertainty and resilience.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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When would you like to start?

We aim to run our microcredentials every few months. Join on the date that suits you or register to hear from an enrolment advisor about future runs and updates.

Speak to an advisor

Not sure if this microcredential is right for you? Fill in your details below and one of our enrolment advisors will be in contact to provide you with the information you need to make a decision.

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FAQ

We can accept payments made by card (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) or PayPal via our online system.

You will have 14 days from the day the course starts to apply for a refund. You can find more information in our cancellation and refund policy.

Microcredentials are designed to fit around your life and timezone.

There may be live events as part of your studies, but these will be recorded and can be watched afterwards if you aren’t online for the live broadcast.

No, microcredentials are designed to be taken anywhere in the world. You won’t need the right to study in the country where the university offering the microcredential is based.

Microcredentials are stand-alone products, designed to meet specific learner and employer needs and offer a credential in their own right. Those awarded by The Open University have a credit value at either undergraduate or postgraduate level, and this may in the future be used towards qualifications (for example, a Bachelor’s Degree, Diploma of Higher Education or Postgraduate Certificate) at The Open University, or potentially at another university (subject to the agreement of the receiving institution).

Want to know more? Read the microcredential FAQs, or contact us.