I asked Ian Travers TiB Group CEO about the behaviour he has noticed in resilient teams.

Ian: A resilient team will take a moment to reflect on good news. They will naturally ask what’s gone well, this week? Less resilient teams will list the problems and reasons why they cannot do tasks. Non resilient teams tend to bask in negativity. That is the fundamental difference.

It’s a difference in belief. A resilient team believes they can do something to move forward, while a non-resilient team doesn’t believe they can achieve anything diferent. The fundamental belief which manifests itself is the focus on forward looking rather than dwelling on the past.

How are leaders of these resilient teams different? What do they do with their team?

We tend to find the leader of a less resilient team is more directive. Telling their team what to do is their default leadership style. Whereas in a highly resilient team, the leader is part of the team and focuses on setting the direction, the intent, and then letting their team run with it. We find that non- resilient teams are reliant on what the boss tells them, how to fix issues and what to do.

In a highly resilient team, everyone will be very, very clear about their purpose. In a meeting of a resilient team, people will report what they’ve done. Team members will tend to outline what they are planning to do next and will identify the help and support needed to achieve an outcome. The non-resilient team will come to the meeting and say, ‘I can’t do this. I wasn’t able to do that because it was too difficult.’ The difference is in a resilient team proactivity and feeling they are in control of their destiny versus the non- resilient team member thinking it’s all too hard for me to solve so I’m just going to bring all these problems to the table and wait for my leader to fix it.

Non-resilient teams are waiting to get back to normal. Whereas brilliant teams create the new normal. In fact, they create a new better normal. They don’t wait for the circumstances to create normality. They create the new normality.

If we were going to Think resilience Better what would this look like?

Our approach? How do we encourage people to think organizational resilience better?

First of all, be honest, face up, accept your current situation. It’s going to require you as a leader of that team, that business, to go walkabout and actually find out what is happening in your business. I know that may sound strange, but we’ve spoken to clients recently where they’ve had people working from home, who on their weekly visit to the factory went to the shop floor to check how the plant was working under difficult operating conditions. It was the first time they had set foot on the factory floor that year. The first thing is to go, touch, look and see. Even if that’s virtually you need to get on the phone or a video call with every member of your team. You need to understand, but be ready to hear stuff you might not like. Until you understand what is really going on, you cannot make steps forward.

People need to have a clear vision of their destination.

Having understood, that you’ve got a cultural issue. Maybe with some people disengaged. You may also find there are people worried and anxious. Give them some certainty. ‘Where are we heading?’ I don’t mean give a numeric value of what profit level or level of sales you are looking for. No. Focus on getting happy people, healthy people, who want to work hard for you.

Acquire resilient behaviours. When a resilient team talks to their customer, they are in a good place to work with them to identify any gap between normal service and the service they now require. They are also open to find new ways, to narrow that gap. Operations are ready to move in a slightly different direction. ‘What can we do?’ is a commonly asked question.

It’s time to get businesses to start to change the way they think about their services. Thinking their business better has to be a priority.


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