I know, it's quickly becoming another one of the many business "buzz" words but there is a reason for that. And while resiliency may seem like an obvious trait for any company to want to pursue, it's a bit more complicated than that. It's more important than long-term planning because as we all know, the best laid business plans come into conflict. Especially, when navigating the inevitable obstacles that require organizational improvements and transformations.
Resilient organizations have sound leadership at all levels and strong cultures founded on trust, accountability and agility. They have a foundation of meaningful core values that ALL members of the team believe deeply in and a sense of team unity beyond what you find in many organizations.
To illustrate this point, I can reflect back to my time as an operator in the Navy SEAL Teams. My contribution to this War on Terror pales in comparison to my brothers who fought longer, are still fighting and of course those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. But I was part of the elite Naval Special Warfare community long enough to understand what resiliency is all about.
Since 9-11, Navy SEALs have been in a constant state of evolution. There have been many battlefield successes, many failures and many lessons learned the hard way. We have evolved the way we train, the way we fight, the way we deploy, our organizational structure and the technologies we use. All in an effort to be resilient and remain ahead of our enemies.
Business organizations with a desire to grow, remain competitive, adapt to emerging technologies and find new ways to manage multi-generational work forces all must discover new ways of building resiliency into the culture.
Last week I landed a book deal with Simon & Schuster. The book is focused on ten principles for leading and inspiring organizational change. The type of change necessary for great companies to stay ahead of the game and own their business battlefield. And guess what the tenth principle and final chapter is titled?
"Resiliency: The Path to Lasting Change"
Many change initiatives can seem to initially "stick" but then somewhere along the way, backsliding occurs. A new way of thinking and behaving is required for change initiatives to really take hold. Once they do and the organization can maintain consistency in the mindset coupled with following new systems and processes, winning is likely to happen. That is why intertwining the culture and values with the new "way of doing things" is imperative.
In this final chapter, I outline the tenth principle of my TakingPoint® system. One of the more conflicting aspects of fighting this war on terror is the question as to whether we are driving lasting change or simply creating vacuums where further chaos is born. The most frustrating part of any change initiative - whether it be on the battlefield or in the boardroom - is to see it begin to crumble after the initial milestones are reached.
As a leadership consultant, many of my clients are great examples of resilient organizations. And as much as I would like to take credit for that, I can't. Many of them figured it out through hard work, risk-taking and perseverance.
One that comes to mind, a software manufacturing company that's been around quite a while, has experienced many life-altering transformations. Some that would crush most companies. Whether it was the costly investment and risk of entering new markets, significant downsizing or wild leaps at greatness that lead to growth and scalability; each example shows resiliency and the ability to bounce back and see things through. Always on a quest to fulfill a unified vision.
Resilient organizations last long and navigate change better than anyone else. They are well-prepared, disciplined, have courageous teams that embrace change, and a culture founded on trust and accountability. They have aligned leaders who show courage in the face of unimaginable obstacles and gain participation and buy-in from all levels of the organization. They thrive in adversity and are never out of the fight.