Resilience is the ability to weather a storm, and even grow from the challenge.

Resilience is the ability to weather a storm, and even grow from the challenge.

Understanding how to foster resilience in ourselves and our organisations is a key antidote to burnout, sickness leave and team dysfunction. Resilience is linked with an engage-approach mentality, in which our creativity and resources are fully alive.

What is resilience?

A common definition of resilience is that it is the ability to ‘bounce back’ from strain. In my view this definition is too tightly linked to the engineering origins of the word resilience. For humans we need a more organic, dynamic way of viewing resilience; one that pays attention to our psychological and social context. Resilience is about bouncing forwards; recovering and learning from difficulties to remain engaged and curious in life. 

What are the features of a resilient organisation?

 A resilient organisation will make systematic, proactive efforts to develop connected leadership, and to foster effective working relationships. A resilient organisation benefits from the collective knowledge and skills of its staff, because communication is open and flowing. This furthers engagement of staff who feel valued, and collaboratively able to shape the endeavour.

Accepting and adapting to complexity and uncertainty are significant aspects of resilience. There needs to be some ‘give’ in the system, and an avoidance of over-specification. On an organisational level the question is always how to create enough structure while allowing for flexibility.

By providing what staff need in the way of support, time and places to rest, eat, connect and process their work experiences the organisation lays in a store of energy and commitment it may need to draw on when the going gets tough.

How can an organisation improve its resilience?

Resilience is a dynamic process rooted in good connections with others, and with our values. It relies upon our ability to respond well to each unfolding moment, a skill that can be enhanced through mindfulness, acceptance and commitment training, and creating spaces for dialogue.

Contextualyse can help develop resilience through its work with organisations and individuals. Contact us if you would like to discuss how we might work with you. 



©Contextualyse Ltd. 2016