Building capacity for resilience


What is resilience?

Resilience is needed in any enterprise, workforce and individual to provide the capacity to tolerate excessive demands and stresses arising from work and daily living.

A metaphor that describes resilience can be found in a passenger carrying aircraft. There are three areas where resilience is essential:

In the mechanical aspects of the aircraft to manage the risk of mechanical failure –there are three independent systems operating to maintain the mechanical safety of the aircraft

In the wings - to manage the risk of damage due to turbulence –the wings are designed to be alarmingly flexible to accommodation the forces of turbulence

In the crew to manage the risk of ill health or conflict –crews, in particular pilots, are trained in covering each other, and in behaviours that focus on listening and supporting.

Resilience is needed in businesses and services to ensure survival, and to improve the opportunities to thrive. Building capacity for resilience in the workforce and in individuals brings the benefits of

  • a workforce that remains stable
  • where skills are retained,
  • where the workforce focuses on performance,
  • and where costs are not incurred from disruption at work.

Building a resilient organisation

Resilience at Corporate level is provided by consultancy assistance that challenges the risks and remedies to threats.

The approach includes assisting with the development of a Strategic Resilience Programme.

In this context, we create, with our clients, many different scenarios that represent risks to the business.

Risks come in two forms – those that are within the ability of managers to prevent, and those which cannot be prevented, and need to be managed.

We help develop resilience strategies that limit risks from damaging the success of the enterprise.

A strategy is to help businesses and services create an Adaptive Culture and adopt Adaptive Leadership principles.

This involves:

  • helping managers and staff to share the responsibility for the organisation as a whole;
  • exposing ‘The Elephant in the Room’ and facilitating discussions with a view to resolution;
  • expecting managers and staff to demonstrate independent judgement;
  • expecting leadership capacity to be developed as a routine; and
  • expecting continuous learning and reflection to be institutionalised and embedded into the routine of the enterprise.

Building resilience in the Workforce and in Individuals

We help build the capacity of individuals to become resilient to the risks facing the workforce.

The risks to the individual and workforce come in two ways:

  • Risks related to issues of personal control – the capacity to be in control of oneself
  • Risks related to the keeping control in the face of threats – the capacity to keep in control of oneself in the face of threats without experiencing stress.

The biggest threat to individual and workforce resilience comes from the behaviour of other people towards us. When these threats arise within the workplace, they may be, for example, the consequences of changes to the business with an impact on the security of employment.

Fig 2. Threats to individual and workplace resilience.

How to build the capacity for resilience

We use The 7 Factor Resilience Framework™ in consultations, coaching and training

Call us on 01242 241882 or email us to discover how our resilience training programme can help your managers and workforce develop resilience against stress and other adverse events at work and at home.