Organisational resilience is your capacity for change. You may have great intentions but be slow or indeed stuck. That’ll be because of resilience.
The Resilience Engine approach is based on our ten years of leading research and practice in the field. It is real-world, practical, inspiring and scalable. We have ten principles for enabling resilience, the capacity for change, in your organisation. This article will concentrate on the third: balance privacy and socialisation.
Principle 3: Balance Privacy and Socialisation
The organisation needs to address both in any resilience support and development.
The privacy to get the time and space to see for real what is really going on. And accept and own your part of it. And know what you want to do about it. The privacy to notice any internal drivers that get in the way of your resilience.The privacy to just ‘be’, one of the top enablers of resilience.
Socialisation is needed in two contexts:
(1) Firstly, within your own team. Teams are where work happens. And we know from the Resilience Engine research that teams are the nurturing ground for what we call ‘Organisational Resilience Assets.’
Whilst our research into organisational resilience continues, we already know that the organisation’s resilience is based on a network of interlinked ‘resilience assets’, which must be aligned. These assets include people, teams, purpose, values and processes. Which are the most important assets depends on sector and context. In the NHS, are large node in the resilience asset network is the value of loyalty. In the Oil industry, the trustworthiness of the organisation’s health and safety processes is key. Within all organisations, the senior leadership team is a node in the network but it differs in its contribution organisation by organisation.
Not every team has a significant part to play in this network, but every team shows up. Why? Because the team space is the container in which the understanding, support, and development of these resilience assets is carried out. The resilience assets get nurtured in teams; without teams, people don’t connect in.
Practically, to help foster organisational resilience, you need to make resilience a standard team conversation. It needs to be part of the work agenda. In the Resilient Manager’s Toolkit from the Resilience Engine, we offer ‘conversational templates’ that can be used by managers to help set resilience conversations in the team.
Fostering resilience within teams requires attention. It won’t happen unless you make this happen.
(2) The second context for socialisation comes from our need for perspective, one of the elements of our ‘Adaptive Capacity’1
We need to know that others are experiencing the same as us. Allow people to bring things to the table.Let them know they are not alone. Help them get perspective on matters by getting the time to share.
George Kohlrseiser2 talks about ‘Putting the fish on the table’ (otherwise it starts to smell and becomes toxic). George particularly uses it in relation to conflict. This fish analogy stands true in fact for all matters that are interrupting the resilience of the organisation. And particularly alignment and consistency – the leverage factors that enable a resilience culture.
Getting the right balance for resilience between privacy and socialisation is critical for supporting and extending the resilience of your organisation. You need resilience for change. And that’s one of the real imperatives of performance.
Resilience needs clarity of intention. Don’t jump in, think first, and really connect with the ‘why of resilience’ for your organisation. Consider who needs what. Consider who needs more privacy and who needs more socialisation. This thinking will help shape what resilience solution is best for you.
Author: Jenny Campbell, CEO of The Resilience Engine
Footnotes 1. Adaptive Capacity. The fuel in your Resilience Engine® that connects your internal potential to your external meaningful goals. Without fuel, the Resilience Engine® runs dry. 2. George Kohlreiser is a Professor of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour at IMD business school in Switzerland. He is acclaimed for introducing the hostage metaphor to leadership development