I’m a consultant, author, and professor. I specialize in designing products and organizations that are resilient to and benefit from uncertainty.

I advise businesses and non-profits as a consultant and board member, working at the intersection of innovation management, product strategy, and organizational design. My focus is always on redesigning systems to be more innovative and resilient to uncertainty in the operating environment. Find out more about my consulting work here.

My first book, The Uncertainty Mindset (2020), is about how uncertainty can be used to drive innovation and adaptability. It’s available worldwide from Columbia University Press, and you can get a copy here.

I make a training tool for productive discomfort called idk which is based on the research in The Uncertainty Mindset. You can get idk here.

Since 2013, I’ve been an assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at University College London’s School of Management. Learn more about my research and teaching here. I’m on leave from UCL in 2022 to work on solving some major problems in collective action.

In the media of various sorts

  1. Innovating in an Uncertain World (Building Bridges, 18/12/2020).
  2. Hell’s kitchens: Restaurants as discomfort zones (Times Literary Supplement, 20/11/2020).
  3. Liquid olives and iPhones; problem-solving and problem-finding; The Uncertainty Mindset (Andy Matuschak, 15/11/2020).
  4. Uncertainty on the menu (Strategy + Business, 16/10/2020).
  5. Innovation: What you could learn from the world’s famous chefs (Welcome to the Jungle, 16/10/2020).
  6. To Survive Coronavirus, Restaurants Can Never Go Back to Normal’ (Eater, 21/4/2020).
  7. Episode 150: Quality and Innovation with Vaughn Tan (The Investor’s Field Guide, 3/12/2019).

Other projects

  1. The pandemic pivot is a free tool for modeling new or alternative business models to respond to pandemic constraints.
  2. The business modeling tool is a free tool for new and established small businesses to think through their business models.
  3. The F&B Coronavirus Guide is a free practical guide for F&B businesses to respond to Covid-19. Translated into 9 languages so far.


For desultory conversation, find me on Twitter @vaughn_tan. For consulting inquiries, email me@vaughntan.org.