How to build resilience into the fabric of your business and success

Too many organizations hold a narrow view of resilience as mainly ensuring short-term, operational continuity during crises. 

True resilience is more expansive: It’s a company’s capacity to absorb stress, recover critical functionality, and thrive in new circumstances. Resilience is not merely an operational consideration — it’s a potential strategic advantage that enables companies to capitalize on opportunities when competitors are least prepared. 

Organizations today face an unprecedented pace of change. In addition to humanitarian crisis after humanitarian crisis – businesses are required to adapt to new technology, regulations, global pacing, and so much more. The level of unpredictability requires leaders to constantly be adjusting, adapting, shifting, pivoting, and all in a way that is forward-thinking. 

Resilience is More Than Risk Aversion

When I go into corporations to speak, one of the clear points I like to make is about how we apply resilience.

➡ It’s not only about protecting against downside risks. 

➡ It’s also about enabling upside potential. 

The most forward-thinking businesses I work with have made this pivot successfully because they’ve realized that resilience isn’t meant to just put out fires. It’s meant to innovate into the future and protect the path along the way. Resilience is how we face these moments of crisis, in search of opportunity. 

Building A Corporate Resilience Culture

If you’re not sure where you stand when it comes to resilience, within your corporation – engage the people around you with a few simple questions. This can be in place of a morning huddle or team building activity, where you brainstorm and start planting resilience seeds. 

Question 1: What does the word resilience mean to you?

Question 2: Do you believe you are a resilient person?

Question 3: Do you believe this is a resilient corporation?

Question 4: How do you feel we could be more resilient?

Sometimes, we have the answers to these questions already but we aren’t thinking about them or haven’t thought about them. And sometimes we don’t have the answers to these questions but we need to, and in that case, this is our starting point towards building a more resilient corporate culture

To be successful in the midst of all this change, anticipating and using disruption is the only way to survive. To be truly resilient, organizations need to take a broader view of resilience that encompasses not only operational continuity but also the ability to thrive in new circumstances. 

Resilient organizations are able to identify opportunities amidst chaos. Resilient organizations are able to lean into that change to meet those opportunities head on. Resilient organizations are able to bounce forward in moments of crisis without exhausting themselves and their resources in the process. This is the most sustainable option for business that exists.