A resilient culture is built one person at a time.
Resiliency is important to businesses because it's the DNA that enables the company to better anticipate, prepare for, respond and adapt to ever increasing market disruptions, shifts in customer preferences and challenging competitor tactics that can knock a business off its hinges.
Resilient people make resilient cultures. Therefor, each staff member must learn the mental techniques and actions needed for protecting themselves from the potential negative effects of stressors. The degree to which a business weaves this kind of training, thinking and behavior into its work settings determines how quickly a company can recover under pressure.
Resiliency techniques focus on four aspects of performance: mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness.
- The mental practices help with self-regulation assisting people with re-framing thoughts, managing change and self-awareness.
- The physical practices promote proper sleep, good nutrition and exercise.
- The social practices emphasize relationship management, team member connectedness and communication.
- The spiritual fitness practices are about core values, guiding principles and purpose.
Once people are taught or reminded of the importance of developing and using resiliency-building behaviors, a community of resilient leaders result. It is through that community of leaders that the culture shifts.
Johnson & Johnson, for example, exploits the concept with their Human Performance Institute's Corporate Athlete Resilience Program. According to the company:
"Corporate Athlete Resilience takes a holistic, science-based approach to sustainable behavior change, enabling people to understand different types of stress, recognize how to best respond to stress productively, and learn how to train to build resilience every day so they can recover, adapt and grow from stress."
Ultimately, this commitment will shift the company's culture over time. On balance, it will make Johnson & Johnson a more resilient organization.
How To Begin to Make The Commitment to Resiliency
There are several steps that I advise my clients to take in order to promote resiliency within their businesses, including:
- Build a Program: You have to show commitment by establishing an ongoing program that delivers the needed tools and techniques to help your team become more resilient. Besides my own, there are myriad companies, which offer this kind of training. Find one that you like and co-create a program that you want to offer to your staff.
- Provide The Training: Once the program is designed, be sure to offer the training on a regular basis. I've found that offering training quarterly with a rolling admission enables your people to self-select a time to participate that works for them.
- Reinforce Behaviors: Nothing helps the training stick more than coaching. If you provide your senior team with coaching following their participation in training you will help them continue to practice and develop the techniques that were taught. Our program offers coaching as part of the offering, for example.
- Measure Results: After several training sessions have been delivered, it's wise to survey participants and ask them if the training has been put to use and has made their lives better. If the results suggest that it has, you know that you're in the midst of shifting your culture for the better.
Continue to drive the program until all staff members have been able to attend. You can offer refreshers periodically after that to enable new hires to get the training and to continue to reinforce your commitment to resiliency.
To close the circle, a resilient culture is built one person at a time. When you change the way you think (beliefs), you change the way you believe (expectations), you change expectations (attitude), you change attitude (behavior) and you change behavior (performance). When you change behavior, you change the culture.