Resilience Is Not Enough
By Gihan Perera
I sometimes go out to breakfast or lunch with my 20-year-old stepdaughter, Abbey. As soon as the food arrives, she – like many others of her generation – pulls out her smartphone, takes a photo, and shares it with her friends on social media (And, to her credit, she then puts away her phone for the rest of the meal).
Of course, knowing that I have a futurist sitting across the table from me, I’m always curious about her behaviour, so I ask what she’s doing. She recently told me that she’s stopped posting these photos on Snapchat, and has now gone back to sharing them on Instagram. Why? Because Instagram’s recent update made it more attractive to post there, and she and her friends have all made the switch.
Abbey and her friends are happy to keep using whatever works best, and they don’t complain about the constant changes to platforms, apps, and technology in general. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: They crave change, rather than resisting it.
How different this is from the way many people think in business!
What about you?
Do you love change or loathe it?
Do you embrace it as an opportunity or resist it as a threat?
Do you sigh and call on your reserves of resilience, or get excited and shout, “Bring it on!”?
Resilience is not enough.
We hear a lot about the importance of resilience, which is about bouncing back, standing up every time you fall down, and getting back on your feet after every setback. But the problem with only being resilient is that you end up being reactive. Even the most resilient person, team, or organisation is still at the mercy of what’s happening around them.
And let’s face it – it’s no fun being constantly knocked down! As good as you are at bouncing back, facing a constant barrage of punches eventually wears you down.
That’s why you need something more than resilience – for yourself, your team, and your organisation.
Instead of just being resilient, build change management into your strategy, so you thrive in chaos rather than being battered by it.
The best organisations are “antifragile”.
In 2012, author Nassim Nicholas Taleb introduced the word “Antifragile”, in his book of the same name. Something is antifragile when it thrives on chaos. In other words, far from just resisting change or recovering from it, it actively grows and thrives in a chaotic, ever-changing environment.
When it comes to managing stress, chaos, and an ever-changing business environment, there are four kinds of teams:
Which of these applies to you and your team?
Now is the perfect opportunity to set a new direction for your team: Be more antifragile.
What does this mean in practice?
Here are three things you can do to get started:
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