Going BANI – Are you BANI ready?

Beverley McMaster – Leadership Coach

A relatively new acronym for the times we are living through according to Jamais Cascio.

It stands for

  • Brittle
  • Anxious
  • Non-linear, and
  • Incomprehensible

I have to say, when I read about BANI prompted by a Newsletter item from coach Helena Clayton, apart from wanting to add the word ‘Barmy’ alongside, it all made perfect sense to me. Oddly, and it really is an oddity, it feels somewhat more optimistic than VUCA.

That optimism I think stems from my faith in our humanness. Living through times described as these require us to be highly resilient, flexible, adaptable. It requires empathy, compassion and presence.

We need to practice healthy, centered detachment and presence all at once, we have to get practiced at looking at deeper, wider contexts, and we have to be skillful at navigating what we can’t understand using wisdom and intuition.

We need to be quick pattern spotters and able to respond right in the moment.

Whilst no doubt there will be OD specialists who will be engaged in designing organisations and systems to be able to operate, even flourish in such times, I’m hopeful that the coaching profession can offer support to individuals as well.

I’m hopeful because the increasing interest in including the body in coaching (aside from just the ‘mental processing’ faculty) as the missing ‘ingredient’ will add to the potential for success.

All of what is required to live well in a BANI world has to live in the musculature and tissues of our bodies. We can easily get caught out thinking that it’s solely about our brain power.

Recall a time when you last knew something intuitively, or some pearl of wisdom or insight just ‘popped up’ out of nowhere?  Or a time when you felt deep empathy or compassion for a colleague?  Try resilience and flexibility.  I’ll bet all of these have some accompanying feeling or sensation within the body.

They are simply not concepts or actions that live solely in the brain.

They are bodily experiences too, generated from within the body and made live (or enacted) through the body.  It stands to reason that if we want to cultivate more of these qualities we have to access and practice them through full conscious body engagement.

We can learn to loosen and unbind the tension and stiffness that lives in the muscles getting in the way of our resilience and flexibility.

We can release the history that has gotten trapped there and we can begin to invite in a richer, fuller lived experience that assists us in staying present and centered whilst the world goes BANI (or perhaps Barmy) around us.

Below you can find links to articles I found on BANI for any of you readers out there who might be interested.

Get In Touch

If you’d like to discuss the next phase of your life please get in touch with me on beverley@beverleymcmaster.com.

Longhurst Limited does not accept any legal or financial responsibility for the services offered by our external coaching partners.