Why as a leader you should rethink your organisational resilience

The organisation that you work for has a purpose; the reason for its existence and the ‘why’ for your actions and efforts. The current crisis provides an opportunity to reflect on how you and your colleagues can be hindered in delivering to this purpose by external and internal challenges, and the impact that this has on all of those working within your organisation.

Today, you may feel that your ability to deliver to your purpose is challenged like never before; you may feel constantly ‘knocked off course’. By building and maintaining organisational resilience you will be able to move beyond solely responding (bouncing with) and recovering (bouncing back) and instead use the turbulence right now as a catalyst to thrive in this ‘white water’ world and beyond. (bouncing forward)

What if this current turbulence was the new constant? What if, what we are trying to create is not a ‘new normal’ but to create an organisation that is capable of rapidly changing in response to the conditions in which you operate.

To do this means that it is time to update the mental models, the frameworks, the policies and procedures. Organisational leaders must re-align their thinking and their actions to the new realities.

Organisational resilience refers to the capacity for continuous, conscious reconstruction that is attentive to the human factors. It is built on an active absorptive capacity comprised of 2 key elements. Firstly it is founded on continual vigilance, both of the internal and external environment. This facilitates being better able to ‘see’. To ‘see’ for understanding, more and faster, and to ‘see’ beyond what is currently known or known for certain. This ‘seeing’ should form part of the organisation’s core operational processes

Secondly it is having the capacity and capability to respond to what is seen; to be able to take action. It is the development and maintenance of the dynamic capabilities that allow the reorganisation of resources to best meet a challenge or realise an opportunity

An organisation that shows strong levels of resilience is not simply a collection of resilient individuals. There is a virtuous circle connecting the ‘Seeing’ and ‘Doing’ activity coordinated by leaders and the levels of trust felt by the organisation’s people in the leaders. 

Stronger organisational resilience is founded on establishing the right environment, climate and dynamic capabilities that are the conditions for a successful implementation of change.

So what’s your current reality?

How much time do you/your team/your organisation spend exploring the future? 

Do you/your team/your organisation encourage a diversity of inputs? 

How widely and deeply do you/your team/your organisation network ? 

What stories of vigilance do you/your team/your organisation tell and hear? 

How fully engaged are senior leaders/board/members? 

Are you vigilant or vulnerable? Is your team vigilant or vulnerable? Is your organisation vigilant or vulnerable?

Categorized as Post

By Matthew Payne

Working to make the most of the resources available to others to enable them to be more successful. Using facilitative leadership and process management to get things done, and really make a difference! Engaging with individuals and teams in both the public and private sectors.

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