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Resilience

By Tiffany A. Dedeaux

What does being resilient mean to you?  When considered Andrew Zolli, who was interviewed by Harvard Business Review, defined it as “the ability to maintain core purpose or to restore core purpose in the face of a disruption.”  If you’re reading this, chances are that you’ve bounced back from a disruption.  Your perspective influences how you look at resilience:

  • Business considers resilience the ability to continue operations in the face of natural disaster
  • Social Psychologists consider a person resilient if they face a traumatic (or potentially traumatic) event and they ‘bounce back’
  • Ecologists (the eco- in ecopsychology) see resilience as the ability of an ecosystem to not resist being push passed a critical threshold

In pulling lessons from this interview resilience means:

  • Diversity.  One example is to have multiple streams of income so that when one stream dries up you’re not in a dire situation.
  • Modularity.  If disaster strikes in one compartment, you are able to isolate it from the rest of the system.  This can mean a building but it can also mean drama in your life.  An example of this could be those who can seemingly have the world around them crumbling to their feet in their personal life yet are able to conduct themselves on the job so that you are not able to tell.
  • Reconfigure Ability.  This is the ability to adapt and rearrange things so that you are still able to carry out your core purpose.

Think about the last time you had a life or career disruption.  What strategy did you employ or develop that allowed you to be more resilient?

References

Resilience Strategies for a Volatile World

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