O'Reilly logo
live online training icon Live Online training

Building a mind-set for professional development and growth

How to thrive in times of ambiguity

Topic: Career Development
Susanna Katsman

Rapid change can cause ambiguity, which may hinder focus and productivity in the workplace. Join expert Susanna Katsman to learn how to approach ambiguity with awareness, intention, and curiosity to fuel personal development, professional growth, and innovation. You’ll explore techniques for situating yourself in the eye of the storm and growing your personal resilience and influence amid changes and ambiguity in the workplace.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live online course, you’ll understand:

  • How the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) concept plays out in the workplace
  • The ambiguous aspect of VUCA
  • How change differs from transition
  • Why ambiguity creates a fertile environment in which you can grow your personal power and transform your organization through innovation

And you’ll be able to:

  • Recognize the signs of VUCA and anticipate the effects of ambiguity
  • Navigate the stages of transition with awareness and confidence, leading yourself and your teams through the disorientation of ambiguity
  • Situate yourself in the eye of the storm and grow your personal influence

This training course is for you because...

This course is for you because…

  • You’re a professional seeking to use organizational change and the ambiguity that comes with it to your advantage.
  • You’re looking for tools to keep yourself (and your team) thriving and performing amid the challenges of the modern world and workplace.
  • You want to keep developing as a person and professional no matter what life throws your way.


Recommended follow-up:

About your instructor

  • Susanna Katsman is passionate about supporting the development of emerging leaders. She skillfully guides her program participants and coaching clients to identify their goals and facilitates the achievement of meaningful and sustainable changes in mindset and behavior. Susanna is continuously honored and humbled by witnessing her clients courageously engage with their challenges and come out on the other side with a changed mindset that enables them to move forward with greater clarity, perspective, and confidence. Susanna is deeply committed to learning new ways to support people’s growth. She brings warmth and positive energy to her interactions with collaborators and clients and enjoys cultivating meaningful connections that nourish those relationships in the long term.

    Over the past twenty years Susanna has held leadership roles in Fundraising Development Operations and Organizational Development within Health Care and Higher Education sectors, including overseeing Training & Development on the Harvard Longwood Campus. As a result, she has over ten years of experience designing and delivering programs across organizational functions.

    Susanna holds an Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and an M.A. in Biology from Brandeis University. She is trained and qualified in Immunity to Change Facilitation by Minds at Work and is Certified as a Talent Optimization Consultant by Predictive Index. In addition to serving her clients, she subcontracts as a Senior Facilitator and Consultant for Orange Grove Consulting and as an Associate for MetaView and Minds at Work. Susanna is also an instructor at the Harvard Extension School Professional Development Program “Essential Management Skills for Emerging Leaders.”

    Susanna lives in the Greater Boston area with her husband and three children. She joyfully serves on the board of the Drake Academy of Excellence.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Lecture: VUCA
  • Hands-on exercises: Reflect; share examples

First two stages of transition process (20 minutes)

  • Lecture: Change versus transition
  • Group discussion
  • Hands-on exercises: Reflect; share examples

Navigate ambiguity and exercise personal influence (25 minutes)

  • Lecture: The circle of influence/circle of concern model; influencing without authority
  • Hands-on exercises: Provide examples of influential people; fill in worksheet
  • Group discussion

Break (5 minutes)

Ambiguity a necessary condition for development, growth, and innovation (35 minutes)

  • Lecture: Transition culminates with new beginning; technical problem versus adaptive challenge; ambiguity supports development of adult mental complexity; resources to support continued growth
  • Hands-on exercise: Reflect
  • Group discussion

Wrap-up and Q&A (25 minutes)