The Six Habits of Highly Resilient Organizations
In our January 4th webinar, “Building a More Resilient Workforce,” with Alexia Vernon, our audience learned what it takes to be resilient in today’s working world. Resilience, as she stated, isn’t just how to let change and difficulty bounce off of you like you’ve got a big force field surrounding your desk, but rather the ability to adapt and even thrive amidst uncertainty, change, or even loss.
Unfortunately, you don’t have a force field like this guy. You actually have to deal with change and disruption.
During the webinar, Alexia shared with us some notes from an article called “The Six Habits of Highly Resilient Organizations” (originally created by People and Place, and published by EcoTrust). She expressed the importance of adopting these habits before they’re actually needed — which is a great point; what’s the good in only pulling the resiliency tool out when a problem arises? What does that make us otherwise but wirey, unorganized people? The “adapt and thrive” method of resiliency doesn’t apply to just uncertain times. We should be adapting even when we’re thriving, or thriving while we’re adapting!
Two of the habits in the list jumped out at me right away:
Prepare for disruptions.
This means having a plan in place to efficiently move yourself and/or your team off one track and on to a new one without being bogged down by the change. Hey, life happens. There isn’t a single person or organization on the planet that has coasted through a day or a week or a month without some kind of disruption to the master plan. Read the fascinating story of Sandler O’Neill, a company that lost nearly everything, including all of its business, systems, and employees, in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, but on September 12, began to put into action the plan that would put them back in business. Or, ask yourself. When was the last time you were disrupted? What did you do to get back on track? What did you do well? What can you do better?
Always be engaged in innovation and experimentation.
Alexia tells us, “Training is not just focused on competencies that are necessary to do the work that is most immediate, but training and development functions and HR departments in resilient organizations are constantly building in formal and informal ways for employees to develop the opportunity to think creatively, or to play in new ways.” She tells us the story of Zappos and Google, where employers and managers actually demand that part of the day be spent experimenting with different ways to achieve tasks and finish projects.
You can hear the other four habits, and Alexia’s musings on each one by listening to her full webinar.
If you’d like to see other HR webinars like this one in 2013, check out our 2013 Webinar Directory.