How resilient are you to change?

With changing work landscapes, it is crucial for individuals and organisations to be and remain resilient. How prepared are you for the changes that will occur?

What would happen if nothing changed and everything remained the same? Would there be motivation for personal and professional growth? In the working landscape, a lack of motivation would stall business growth and reduce profitability, negatively impacting the economy and society.

To grow is to change. With the rapid advancements in technology and globalisation, the choice we make is to either embrace change or risk being left behind. These changes have given rise to the gig economy, where organisations and individuals engage with one another for specified periods of time based on business needs and strategic requirements. The ability to be resilient and maintain a positive outlook under constant change and challenging situations, has never been more crucial.

Three factors supporting resilience are: reflection and critical evaluation of experiences, the ability to identify strengths and areas of development, and the continuous desire to learn.

Reflection and Critical Evaluation

Through reflection and critical evaluation, we increase awareness of the impact our decisions and actions have, allowing us a broader vision and deeper insight into the events that impact personally and professionally. Critical reflection also brings to light our strengths and areas of development, which is often not an easy task to engage in, as it requires us to remain honest with ourselves around our and our teams’ capabilities and performance. Engaging in continuous reflective practice increases self and team awareness, key to developing a better understanding of others and developing creative thinking and expansive problem-solving skills. Leaders and team members are able to identify roadblocks and barriers and discuss options to overcoming these barriers, resulting in a more resilient workforce.  

Self-reflection and critical evaluation is a complex activity. Adding to this complexity is the need for leaders to conduct critical evaluation on their teams, both individually and collectively. Individually team members may be at different stages in their development, and the impact this has on the team needs to be carefully considered to ensure the support provided by the leader is targeted.

Reflection and critical evaluation are continuous, once gaps are addressed, leaders and teams may engage in deeper analysis and take on the next challenge.

Identify Strengths and Areas of Development

Understanding where our strengths and capabilities lie helps build internal strategies and skills that support resilience when presented with ambiguous and challenging situations. Through feedback, keeping an open mindset and approaching situations from multiple perspectives, ambiguity and challenges can be viewed as opportunities.

Giving and receiving feedback requires sensitivity as it may be uncomfortable to hear. It is therefore important to understand individual needs and how to support them. This support may include personal development plans that address individual needs, and team charters to promote cohesion and foster resilience. It is also important to note there tends to be a negative association attached to personal development plans. It is vital that leaders differentiate personal development plans from performance management. Personal development plans are holistic, focusing on the individual’s strength, how they can grow, enabling them to see their progress and inspire them to continue advancing. The ability to chart their progress and witness their evolving self-efficacy, creates truly resilient individuals and teams.

Continuous Learning

Engaging in continuous learning enhances knowledge and performance, allowing individuals and organisations to remain abreast of trends and industry movements. It also cultivates networks and connections, supporting collaboration with other individuals and organisations to promote diverse and innovative thinking.

With competing demands and priorities, continuous learning is often left on the backburner, which can be detrimental to organisational resilience, as it risks knowledge and capabilities becoming redundant. The concept of continuous learning can be overwhelming as there are many options available to individuals and organisations. By introducing ‘bite-sized’ opportunities: micro-learning, can provide targeted knowledge required in the immediate term. The learning is self-paced and can be delivered as ‘knowledge nuggets’ through various modalities such as e-learning and videos, that can be accessed through various mobile devices. 

To further support continuous learning, coaching and mentoring can be embedded in the workplace culture. Coaching and mentoring are powerful tools that allow individuals to self-identify roadblocks and barriers to their development, as well as options to overcoming these challenges. Coaching is about creating an environment where the individual being coached is able to dive in and retrieve their own solutions. A fundamental skill in effective coaching is to ask questions that build trust and promote self-awareness. Questions that are open and insightful encourages exploration of ideas and problem-solving.

By engaging in continuous learning, individuals and organisations remain current and well-informed of trends and potential challenges that may impact the work environment. It provides tools to be resilient in the face of constant change. 

Change will happen, so what would happen if you were unprepared? How resilient would you be? By engaging in critical reflection, being aware of our strengths and areas of development, and remaining curious to learn, we build our resilience, allowing us to be better prepared to meet challenges that come our way. Being resilient enhances our strategic agility.

A final word:

“Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems” Gever Tulley