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Although the subject of literally hundreds of books and articles, the answer to this question can be summarised quite succinctly - when we listen to CEOs describe the challenges faced by organisations, we can see that it is best defined by reference to STRENGTH, COMPETITIVENESS, RESHAPING and GROWTH.
However, what is important is that the practitioner is able to differentiate between those approaches and definitions which represent truly strategic and whole-organisation concepts, and those which remain narrow, operational and event-focused, or those which claim to have identified some ‘missing link’ to unlock our understanding in this area.
‘Resilience’ is employed in a variety of ways and across a wide range of topic areas. It has become a convenient label for use in organisations and by the media but is often used in only the narrowest of ways. It is also used interchangeably with ‘continuity’ by many practitioners, mangers and Board members.
To be of maximum value, resilience therefore must be a) strategic, and b) not limited to events. The perspective introduced by reference to the terms 'strength, competitiveness, re-shaping and growth' positions resilience firmly at a strategic level and does so without making direct reference to ‘shocks’ or other forms of interruption. This is a definition which highlights only those characteristics which have proven to be essential for organisations to succeed and does so whilst avoiding the use of ambiguous or empty narrative or by relying on the vague promise of concepts such as ‘thrive’ or ‘survive’.
This approach to resilience also makes it clear that the principle of ‘bouncing back’, carried over from material science and the business continuity space, is simply not appropriate and is one which fails to embrace risk. Our definition is not only progressive and ambitious, it is also clear and logical and requires no additional context or clarification for it to make sense. Furthermore, by introducing only four terms in the definition, each of which is outcome-focused, we avoid the need to list numerous components in an attempt to demonstrate that everything has been included. We also avoid favouring specific organisations or sectors through detailed references or by being overly prescriptive.
The Academy supports the approach outlined within Resilience 6™️ - a unique set of principles and truths which help to frame thinking on the subject.
The Academy has also sought to extend this progressive approach to other related areas, including that of personal resilience. Many of those contributing to this topic do so without appearing to recognise some of the most critical points. For example, resilience at a personal level is also much more than just stress events or the ability to cope with them. Also, the secrets of personal success, as with organisational success, can only be unlocked by looking at the Forces of Irresilience™️, and many of these forces lie beyond the grasp of the individual, and are exhibited only at a team, organisational or societal level. You can see more on this approach through of courses, listed in the Training tab in the menu bar.
Resilience in the post-pandemic world means demonstrating strength and evidencing growth, and reshaping in order to secure a competitive position.