How often have you praised someone for “bouncing back”? Getting back on our feet after a setback can show impressive resilience … but what if we could go further?
In today’s fast-changing world where the business environment seems to throw up constant obstacles to overcome, bouncing back to the status quo is no longer enough.
How to turn challenge into opportunity
Instead we need to learn how to be more resilient and develop a change-ready mindset that transforms challenges into opportunity.
It’s not about bouncing back – it’s springing forward!
I’m excited by a new book introducing the idea of “transformative resilience”. It’s about learning from stress and failure, emerging from adversity far stronger than before.
If you can develop a growth mindset – a mindset where people are ready to learn, grow, embrace change and spring forward – you can motivate the team around you to be motivated, empowered and committed.
Transformative Resilience for Thriving in a Turbulent World* argues that we’ve overlooked the human capacity and necessity to change, improve and transform. The authors write: “While others have argued for the benefit of ‘bouncing back’ – we believe that Transformative Resilience, our capacity to experience a demonstrable positive transformation through adversity and change and ultimately make a contribution to our larger community, is the way forward.”
Why build resilience
The World Health Organisation describes stress as the “global health epidemic of the 21st century.” Work cultures are often constantly connected and highly demanding, fuelling stress and burnout. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by uncertainty without having the head space to think ahead.
And it’s more important than ever to build resilience skills to navigate your professional life. The most resilient people and teams aren’t the ones that don’t fail. It’s quite the opposite – it’s the ones that fail, and learn from it to improve and thrive. Being challenged, sometimes severely, is part of what activates resilience as a skill set. “Good stress” aka “eudaemonic stress,” (from the Greek word for flourishing) can motivate us to be our best.
Of course, the idea of fail fast can be tough while you’re going through it. Progress hinges on our capacity to learn from our mistakes. You can help yourself by having a sense of purpose, reframing how you think of challenges as what you’re learning, and recognising what you can control and what you can’t.
How a change mindset empowers and inspires
I’m a passionate supporter of Carol Dweck’s work about growth mindset. Dweck writes: “Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset … When entire companies embrace a growth mindset, their employees report feeling far more empowered and committed; they also receive far greater organisational support for collaboration and innovation.” This is exactly what’s required to deal with constant change.
I was therefore delighted to read McKinsey research – Organisational health: the ultimate competitive advantage, 2011 – indicating that if companies can identify and address pervasive mindsets at the outset, they are four times more likely to succeed in organisational-change efforts than are companies that overlook this stage.
McKinsey dubbed this, “Change leader, change thyself.” I couldn’t agree more. If those who are leading change adopt a change mindset and learn how to learn, they can inspire their colleagues and staff with confidence.
So the whole organisation can spring forward with the resilience to embrace new things.
If you and your team would like to learn more about developing greater resilience and a change-ready mindset have a look at our Resilience and change readiness masterclass.
* Transformative Resilience for Thriving in a Turbulent World by Ama Marston and Stephanie Marston