Bounce forward, not back

What is the trait that makes some buckle under pressure without it, while others adapt and bounce back? Resilience! Whether it’s reframing a loss into an opportunity or remaining calm in a crisis, this mindset allows for a better constructed future. Some believe that resilience is an intrinsic personal trait which certain individuals are born with. However, a recent study by The Resilience Institute Australia provides hope to those not born with it.

Their research was conducted with 250 businesses and 16,000 individual employees pre and post-resilience intervention. It found that with training, resilience is a skill which can be learnt. Participants of the 3 year study experienced distinctive changes in attitudes, as illustrated below.

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It is important to understand that resilience is as vital for individuals as it is for corporate business, and the same principles apply. Business resilience can be defined as the capability of an organisation to swiftly adapt and react to internal and external disruptions while maintaining operations. It goes beyond the practice of disaster recovery by comprising of strategies which avoid interruption and minimise impact on the business. In the event of something as serious as business turnaround, resilience begins with the understanding and focus that workflows must be preserved in order for the business to survive.

Many businesses do not have aspects of resilience embedded into their organisation. This means that they have not planned for modern day challenges, and inevitably these businesses will experience great difficulties in adapting to them. It is imperative for businesses to understand and plan for situations, only then will they be able to successfully shift from being sustainable to being adaptive.

The human element of business resilience is often overlooked and employees are not trained correctly. All individuals in the business must be prepared and educated on how to react during challenging times. It is simple to set overambitious goals for staff to reach, but this is never successful, and definitely not sustainable. There should be a great focus on what is working in the business and staff should be motivated accordingly.

Resilient individuals and businesses possess a frame of thinking which allows for an adaptive mindset, making the present manageable and shaping the way for a better constructed future. Stuart Taylor, CEO of The Resilience Institute Australia confirms this, saying “Resilience is more than just the ability to bounce-back from a stressful situation. It is the ability to bounce forward, re-frame your situations quickly and seek opportunity for growth and positive action”.