“Is? Something? Wrong?” - what should we do in the era of uncertainty and anxiety?

Unexpected situations, constant changes and unpredictability, getting stuck again and again - perhaps these words can best describe the era we live in today, not only as employees, but also as people.

Looking for some kind of answers, we can of course easily reach the thoughts of Ákos Fodor, the "Three negative thoughts", according to which "Is. Something. Wrong.”, which, when read together, seems more like a motivational message than an ominous statement. 

"The unexpected developments of recent years may have made those who believed in continuous planning quite unsettled, and this brought a kind of fragility into everyday life, which shattered the illusion of strength,"

- Kayser Ágota PCC coach, Valuteam's organizational developer, tells Connect Magazin.

A specialist who also presented at the Connect Conference emphasized that a kind of "mass state change is taking place, i.e. until now the unpredictability was at the boiling point, now we have gone beyond that, and perhaps there really is no better word for the vapor state than chaos". Ágota Kayser adds that we have already become insecure about news and information, and with that

we have lost our fate in control.

"We look for the fault in ourselves, and in general, what can we do in this situation? While we also feel that constant loss optimization or remediation is not always the way to go."

- he asks the question, to which he answers:

"There is nothing else to do but to accept this ever-accelerating and in many cases unpredictable process of change, and then form and develop our adaptive personality".

and then form and develop our adaptive personality”.

COVID-effect, technological change, fluctuation, anxiety, depression

According to the Mental State of the World report - which worked with data from half a million people in 64 countries - the data on mental state has not improved since the end of COVID.

The 18-24-year-olds (Generation Z) are three times more likely to have mental health problems than their grandparents' generation. This is important because, in contrast to the patterns before 2010, the situation here is not that mental health improves over time, but rather that it worsens.

Meanwhile, as a result of technological changes, according to the OECD, 1.1 billion jobs will change radically, and according to forecasts, companies can expect 50-70 percent more turnover than previously expected.

Anxiety and depression have increased by 25 percent globally as a result of COVID!

According to the WHO, this is precisely why we need to pay much more attention to mental health than before!


The term BANI comes from Jamais Cascio’s writing, Age of Chaos and means the following:

  • B as brittle/fragile: in any moment of the world – in a sudden and catastrophic way – it can collapse. Due to the lack of security reserves which is a result of the pursuit of efficiency, seemingly strong systems are really overstretched - a breaking point can easily come when they fall to pieces and in these globalized, interconnected and interdependent systems, a local error immediately affects several areas.
  • A as anxiety (constant): when every decision can be fatal. The constant feeling of "upheaval" present in our lives - unexpected and upsetting events, independent of us, that affect our lives. All these (thanks to the reinforcing effect of the media) do not merely increase, but multiply the stress level.
  • N as non-linear: when causes and effects diverge, the pieces don't fit together. Consequences can be realized with a huge phase delay, when we no longer even remember the root cause, or seemingly small blockages lead to disproportionately serious consequences (or vice versa, great efforts remain ineffective).
  • I as incomprehensible: when it seems impossible to extract information from the "noise". When there are no answers to questions, a lot of data can become counterproductive and overshadow our ability to understand what is going on around us.

In which way is it different from a VUCA?

VUCA (that is, the thinking scheme according to which the world is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) was an attempt to "domesticate" change, turn the unpredictable into a system, aiming to avoid the worst possible scenario.

But for now, VUCA is no longer able to help us better understand what is going on around us, the world is going through a state change. If VUCA was the boiling point with its unpredictability, now BANI goes beyond that and can already be equated to a state of steam. VUCA was about the ever-changing environment and the resulting difficulty in making decisions and finding a way. The multifold complexity in BANI is already equal to chaos, and it is also about who I am in this chaos.

What does BANI offer differently?

In the chaos, it is difficult to see a non-apocalyptic vision of the future, which can lead to giving up and depression.

In itself, BANI therefore does not necessarily bring new solutions, but perhaps more than anything else, it draws attention to awareness and the responsibility to protect, and in addition, to make ourselves more resilient.

Is there really nothing wrong? What can we do on an individual level?

Ágota Kayser shared some advice with the audience in her presentation at the Connect Conference.

The specialist considers it important, among other things, that our value system serves us as a kind of yardstick, even if there is no logic in it. He believes that it is worth paying attention to our body's messages much more consciously, our exhaustion and addictions can give an accurate indication of short-term change. As he put it in his presentation: "how can we "ground" and strengthen ourselves on an individual level?" Thus, for example, by consciously paying attention to ourselves and our activities, even a dog walk can turn into a significant resource in everyday life.

It is worth living our goals, or if you like, our desires differently, and prioritizing those that are realistic and attainable. Of course, this does not exclude bolder dreams.

What can we do on a corporate level?

Valuteam's trainer recommends that we change the organizational structure, make it one that better enables quick decision-making and action, supports innovation and creative thinking, as well as continuous learning and development. In addition, it is worth considering the introduction of flexible working hours and places of work.

In addition to constant changes, internal communication, the sharing of company information that also affects employees in a timely and accurate, free and transparent manner, becomes extremely important.

And for all of this, a flexible driving style is increasingly necessary. According to Ágota Kayser, it is important for managers to be able to listen to employees' opinions, support independence and initiative, and adapt to changing situations.

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