Bullish on Uncertainty provides rare insight into the secretive world of Wall Street high finance, which has shaped influential business, governmental, and cultural leaders and keeps supplying new business practices to other organizations in dynamic and complex environments. The book studies how two highly successful Wall Street investment banks managed the uncertainty of their high-velocity environment through different work practices. One bank chose the familiar route of decreasing bankers' uncertainty. The other bank used the novel and effective practice of increasing bankers' uncertainty to make them more alert to new situations and more likely to draw on the bank's entire range of resources. Through vivid accounts of newcomers during their first two years, the book traces how the two banks' initially similar participants were transformed into fundamentally different kinds of persons by the different kinds of work practices in which they participated.
• Rare insight into the work practices of influential but highly secretive Wall Street investment banks • Provides a novel conceptualization of human transformation, including the beneficial consequences for participants and organizations • Demonstrates connectivity between basic psychological processes, including identity, cognition, emotion, and motivation
Foreword Kenneth J. Gergen; 1. Bullish on uncertainty; Part I. Work Practices: 2. Practices that reduced cognitive uncertainty at Individual Bank; 3. Practices that amplified cognitive uncertainty at Organization Bank; Part II. Psychological Transformation: 4. Recruiting; 5. Individual-centered transformation; 6. Organization-centered transformation; 7. An alternative approach to organizational and psychological transformation.