Since 2008 there is one thing for certain, that in the future lies uncertainty.

Many of the business titles and articles coming out today continue to point out that were not in Kansas any more.  Popular themes include, Innovation, Resilience, Company Culture, and Conscious Leadership.

As a leader myself, the question I have been asking is:

How can I create a resilient organization in the face of unpredictable change ?

Because the type of change were talking about is unprecedented.

The best “metaphor” I can think of is the unpredictability of nature.  Nature is an environment that continues to teach.  Another way of saying it is, “the more you know, the less you know”.  As soon as I get caught knowing how it is, I learn the hard lesson.

From anti-bacterial soaps creating super resistant bugs to the disruption of global climate change we are learning as humans that we don’t know as much as we think do about predicting change and controlling nature.  So what are the lessons to be learned ?

From my 15 years of creating high performing teams in the context of nature, I have seen predictable results in the face of intensity, challenge and uncertainty.  In this body of learning there are excellent strategies that lay the groundwork for a resilient company culture.  Within those strategies are tools and techniques that are highly effective training elements for coping with change and engaging in the unknown.

There are two main strategies that most of the tools and training elements fall under.

1. Resilient companies are led by resilient leaders

2. Resilient companies have a conscious culture of resilience.

On my upcoming call, Creating a Conscious Business Culture *, I’m going to talk about these tools that resilient leaders use:

Visionary Storytelling: The ability to paint a compelling and hopeful future that others see themselves in, and have a direct relationship to.

Reciprocal Leadership: The confidence to empower an exchange of ideas and initiatives with employees of different levels of experience and authority.

Trust through Vulnerability: The courage to lead transparently. There are times that saying “I don’t know” as a leader is the right way.

And I will also share about these principles that make up a conscious culture of resilience:

Redundancy emphasizes importance: Culture messages values to it’s participants in a variety of ways.  The more ways the more important the value.

Relationship Conductivity: There is a threshold, a bar set, for how much attention gets put on conduct between people in any given organization.

Accountability through short feedback loops: Resilience is a direct function of how well and how often highly diverse parts of a company give each other feedback

If you have thoughts on these topics, please comment below !

Otherwise join me for my upcoming call or contact me about how I might help your organization or company become more resilient to unprecedented change!

* Registration Deadline: Tuesday December 17th


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3 replies
  1. Mike
    Mike says:

    It is important for us to adopt “Shared Story” with the folks who become stake holders in what we do and eventually become volunteers, administrators, instructors, maintenance folks, and elders in our community. Often this shared story is a class, but it has also involved building class room areas and living quarters for the apprentices. The long term, multi-generational story line is essential as is the importance of preparing a welcoming space that cultivates a sense of safety and sacredness. We find that investing in time to maintain “sacred fire” and intentional ceremony, from evening meals together to rites of passage are as important as solo time and structured program. The balance of these things is the work of community. The state of the schools gardens and the dishes in the sink are important measures of the health and resilience of the community.

  2. Erica W
    Erica W says:

    There was some great work done by the “resilience alliance” that I saw about 10 years ago; one book that went into detail was titled “Panarchy”. They talk about modeling phases of organization that can apply to systems from ecosystems to businesses. Growth, collapse, exploitation, reorganization.
    Resilience isn’t necessarily where you are on the cycle, or preventing collapse: it’s the likelihood that reorganization will lead to a similar (or the same) system after any given collapse. A degraded forest may shock into a desert after a fire; a resilient forest re-seeds itself. Small shocks of the same type breed resilience in the face of larger shocks (frequent brush fires tend to reduce the severity of crown fires, and increase the population of fire-tolerant species). Patchy exposure to shocks with nearby systems not synchronized helps too – species that thrive in the phases necessary to re-seed the system are available nearby. Innoculation and diversity are big breeders of resilience.
    So that might lead to ‘experience of risks and consequences’ as a big factor in organizations being able to plan for, and calmly thrive through, any particular type of change. If we suppress changes instead of trying them in small increments, we set up a brittle system that may be more likely to catastrophically collapse when shocked.
    Practicing Change: A culture that encourages small-scale or experimental changes (e.g. a staff suggestion box with a monthly prize for best ideas, ‘kaizen’ workstation improvement, trend-tracking market research) boosts its ability to handle large-scale changes when necessary.

  3. Tahirah AbuBakr
    Tahirah AbuBakr says:

    Mark you have ask for some feedback from the teleconference on January 7th, though i was late checking in I believe to have this on going dialog is a wonderful way to keep people engaged and informed. Especially about the training you offer.Indeed it is a great support especially to parents who struggling with their teens and I also like the personal story telling you do.
    Thank you for your great work


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