What’s wrong with Resilience?
Recently I read an article that suggested that being resilient was somehow a bad thing. I’ve always considered it a good thing. It turned out that the article was focused primarily on personal resilience, where I have more often thought in terms of business resilience. There were, however, parallels, so I thought I’d just outline some pros and cons for your consideration:
- Being resilient may be misinterpreted to mean that you don’t need any government assistance – you know, the kind you’ve been paying taxes for in case of emergencies such as hurricanes or pandemics.
- Being resilient means you might end up shouldering the burden for others who can’t pull their fair share.
- Being resilient may be misinterpreted to mean that you can constantly work in an overload environment.
- Being resilient means you have the means to keep your doors open when your competitors may not.
- Being resilient means you have a plan and you work that plan when life throws constant curve balls – you don’t have to wing it.
- Being resilient means you get to keep the business you’ve worked hard to build, despite setbacks.
The main argument in the article was that resilience training for the staff seemed to be substituted in some organizations for addressing underlying needs such as chronic labor shortages. That wasn’t business resilience – that was personal resilience. That is definitely not what I have in mind when I think of business resilience.
Business resilience comes from constantly working on your business plan, preparing for the unexpected, making contingency plans, and testing out those plans, if possible, to see if they are viable. It also comes from experience, and knowing that you have overcome some down times or setbacks, so you can do it again. Right now, it’s getting tiring for many. For example, think of the many small business owners who have had to “pivot” multiple times already in an attempt to keep their business going during this pandemic. It’s hard work and sometimes it’s hard to find that light at the end of the tunnel, especially when the business you find yourself in isn’t at all where you wanted to be after multiple pivots.
On the whole, though, I would prefer to be prepared and resilient in the face of unexpected setbacks. This pandemic has certainly stretched some of my skills and tested my preparation for something I’ve never experienced in my life – and at this point, I’ve experienced a fair bit!
Do you consider your business – or yourself – resilient?