Think Organizational Resilience Better

Ian Travers CEO Thinking it Better Group talks about the first steps towards thinking resilience better

Thinking it Better starts from an overriding straight forward process which is to understand, simplify and inspire to act. If we take that into the context of the current environment affecting organizations, we can help teams become more resilient.

Resilience applies to individuals, projects or a company. We are being buffeted by a storm force wind of uncertainty. There’s misinformation and changing advice occurs almost daily. For some it feels scary. Resilience is the measure to which you can deal with that in a positive and constructive way to come out the other side of it. Confucius once said, ‘the strongest trees are the thin, flexible ones that bend in the wind rather than try and force against it.’

Some people love ambiguity and challenges. They are naturally more resilient subconsciously than others. But even those who like ambiguity will feel the amount of uncertainty and disruption we’ve got unsettling. But then you’ve got other people for whom the mere fact that they don’t have a regular commute and they can’t go to the shops as they did is a massive destabilising force.

For the foreseeable future we have a massive disruption which even for the most resilient people will be unsettling. This means it is important to help people get better at dealing with this environment.

Let’s start by asking people to assess their current state of resilience. Simply ask people to give a score between 1 and 10 where the highest value represents a feeling of total confidence. ‘I feel at the best of my ability to deal with this situation and uncertainty.’ We try to get each of us to be honest with ourselves about how we are feeling right now.

This is part of the process to understand our current situation. Let’s face up to how are we feeling and what are we afraid of? Before we start to throw any tools or techniques at resilience we need to understand where are we on that scale. Having understood that, ‘OK, I’m feeling quite nervous and quite anxious. I’m really worried about my job. I’m worried about my health. I’m worried about my family. Whatever it is, let us face up to that.

Let’s take some simple steps to simplify these challenges. Let’s help you understand what is actually going on. What are you thinking about? What are you afraid of? And then to start to take some simple steps.

Firstly, let’s remind ourselves that what we think about drives the way we feel and what we feel drives the actions we take. The way we are thinking about what’s happening around us has a profound effect on our actions.

This means the first step is a realisation that, fear is just a thought. And you are in control of your thoughts, your thoughts are driving how you’re feeling. To make a difference, we can’t change the thing. We’d all love to make Covid-19 go away. We’d like to say, I guarantee your job is safe, but we can’t do that. But we can change the way we talk to ourselves.

We can change the story. We tell ourselves we can change the way we think. This is our first step towards building resilience.

How we do this will follow in further blogs


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