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If you’re reading this blog, I anticipate you already consider yourself ‘resilient’ and maybe even ‘extremely resilient’.

As a consultant and executive coach, resilience building has been increasingly on my radar, probably since the 2007 / 2008 credit crunch and subsequent recession and growth in marketplace uncertainty.

We did a little research back in 2014 and our clients told us what they thought resilience to be:

Like most, I too thought ‘resilience’ was simply the ability to ‘bounce back’ and ‘keep going in the face of adversity’, to be helped by having a healthy eating, sleeping and exercise regime.  Over half of the teams asked felt that they weren’t ‘resilient’ enough for the challenges they faced at that time.

Since then in the UK, we’ve experienced; unplanned elections, the turbulence of Brexit twice (and it’s still not over!) and now the COVID-19 pandemic.  All of these occurrences have created huge disruption across our economic systems and in turn, increased the pressure on our businesses and organisations, led by people; just ordinary human beings with the responsibility of leadership in their title, doing their best to navigate and stay afloat in rough, and now to continue the metaphor, unprecedented seas.


We’ve all experienced a shock and the waters we have to charter are unknown to us all.  Conversations with clients and colleagues in the last 3 months are consistently telling me that this time has been very “intense”, and dependent upon individual and organisational circumstances, the energy and ‘resilience’ needs to be found to do what has to be done to perform in the ‘new norm’ and survive / adapt or in some instances, sadly, close down and find new opportunities.

Arguably, our traditional view of what it takes to be resilient is not enough anymore. Partly, because it isn’t working.  We need to support individuals to build long-term resilience without the fall out of high stress or poor physical or psychological health.

We also need to take a systemic approach and look beyond individuals to build resilient leadership, teams and organisations.

We are beyond the old adage; “work smarter, not harder” as this comment is often perceived as ignorant of the true reality and efforts of individuals and teams to deliver in faster pace, complex and ambiguous contexts.

It seems we are now in a “VUCA” ‘plus’ world and new ways of addressing this need to be found.

Extensive global research has been carried out by Resilience@Work and a R@W toolkit has been created.  This includes two distinct scales for measuring individual and team resilience. There is also a 180-degree feedback tool for leaders to use to learn how well, they create and build resilient teams.  Click here to see our “Sustaining Optimal Performance through Resilience’ paper which shows you the models and outlines the benefits of using the toolkit.