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Posted by Stephen, Sheryl at Wednesday, 12/15/2010 10:37 am
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3.0 from 60 votes
Over the last several years, our work with municipalities, counties and private organizations have brought to our attention the issue of resilience. Especially during times of change and uncertainty organizations are looking for ways to help their employees cope while at the same time staying productive. Let’s explore resilience.


What is resilience? Webster’s Dictionary defines resilience (noun) as an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. Resilient (adjective) is defined as capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture. Resilience in life is often harder to define, but we know when people have it. Is it a trait, characteristic or behavior? Is the ability to be resilient inborn or acquired? If we have it, can we lose it? If we don’t have it, can be get it?

Resilience is not just surviving a critical event or situation but moving beyond it in a positive direction and achieving the most desirable outcome. We have drawn on our ability to be resilient to remain in control as we move from one event or situation to the next. Our resilience becomes automatic, in most situations, and we are often through the process, at our destination, before we realize we have taken the trip. We may respond proactively, with assertiveness, purpose and direction in any given situation. That same situation encountered at a different time may find us totally unprepared to handle to the crisis of the situation.

How are you resilient?

It is important to understand our Personal Resilience and to be fully aware of the coping techniques or strategies that we have used in the past. More importantly, we need to identify the techniques and strategies that have given us the best results; in other words, what helped us maintain our resilience. When we are aware of what works and what doesn’t work, we are prepared to meet future situations with less negative impact and more positive outcomes.

Why is it important to understand Corporate/Organizational Resilience? The process of organizational change and how employees react to and implement changes are key to an organization’s success or failure. Successful organizations realize that corporate resilience is directly related to the resilience of its employees. Employees may respond to change and transition in a variety of ways. Understanding employee responses to change and providing resilience training can minimize the negative impact on efficiency and productivity. Organizations that have mastered the art of resilience embrace change, gain the commitment of stakeholders, customers and employees and move forward in a positive direction in their industry.

In our continuing efforts to assist individuals and organizations remain resilient, we would like for you to share with us your techniques for maintaining resilience (individually or as an organization).

  • Joe Gross Excellent insight into a very challenging and rewarding aspect of "the world of work". I think the talent of resilience can be learned. This blog post captures the value or the talent, and the way to practice it, very well. Resilience is especially critical in this environment of cutbacks and caution.
  • karen ribeiro last month I collaborated on a resilient businesses "un"conference where we had participants partner up and share their resiliency stories. From this, we identified about 30 specific needs small businesses have - short PowerPoint and research is found on slideshare:
  • Joe Gross Thank you for sharing your PowerPoint on Resilience, Karen. It helped me learn more about what I consider a basic, under-developed characteristic that is key to strong organizations.
  • karen ribeiro You're welcome! It's all about collaboration.

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