10 Critical Questions to Jump-Start Resilience

10 Questions to Jump-Start Resilience

“Increasing Speed, Strengthening Resilience” – the #1 most significant shift facing organizations today, according to McKinsey & Company’s The State of Organizations 2023 report. While more than 60% of leaders report that organizational resilience will become more important in the future, 50% report their organizations are not well prepared for future disruption over the next few years. 

How would you rate your organization on these two points? How will you ensure your organization is prepared?

A Checklist Approach… Helpful, but Inadequate

My sister recently shared a “Be Prepared” checklist with my siblings and me. It’s a checklist with important reminders for basic supplies and safety tips to prepare for disasters and everyday emergencies that can happen without warning. A great tool to have!

Do you think about organizational resilience this way… often focused on the operational checklist – do we have flashlights, batteries, backup systems in place, insurance, protocols for shutting down equipment, and other things we need to ‘be ready’. While important, this is only a part of what it takes to be prepared. This is a reactive approach, not proactive. You prepare for ‘the thing’ to happen. You’re ready with your armor on for what comes at you, but what if the issues are different than you anticipate? Then what? Can you really be resilient in the face of ???

In this environment, you’re dealing with rapid disruption from a number of different variables, such as inflation, domestic and global economic & political instability, accelerated artificial intelligence and technology advancements, an evolving workplace and employee expectations.  And, you don’t know what’s coming next. This permeating disruption means it’s not just the large scale crises that are significant risks. You face daily challenges that escalate uncertainty and stress every day. How leaders and the people within your organization respond day-to-day is your biggest risk and opportunity. 

Your Survival is at Risk

The imperative is to build a learning organization that can adapt in the face of ongoing change. In the same The State of Organizations 2023 report, McKinsey points out the importance of building a culture of adaptability: “Leaders and teams in adaptable organizations are better prepared than others to assess the situation at hand, reorient themselves, double down on what’s working, and walk away from what’s not—and do it all quickly. With each bounce forward, they become more resilient.”    

One of our lessons learned from COVID, is when there’s a shock to the system, it impacts people in significant ways. That impacts your ability to operate effectively, to take care of customers, and ultimately, your bottom line. Not addressed? Your very survival is at risk.      

Building a Culture of Resilient Adaptability – Start Here

As you consider your organization’s strategic priorities and plan for the coming and next few years. one of those priorities must be building a culture of Resilient Adaptability. Where do you start? 

Below are ten questions to consider and to begin planning around:  

  1. Are we considering the impact of the pressing Future of Work trends on our business and the possible implications? Are we even aware of what the Future of Work trends are?
  2. What are our vulnerabilities around those Future of Work trends?
  3. How well prepared are we to handle potential future disruptions?
  4. How well do we handle the fallout from the day-to-day surprises and crises that arise? How do leaders and employees react? What’s the impact on our workplace environment and culture?
  5. How well do we adapt to disruptions and change… As an organization? As teams? As individuals?
  6. To what degree do we consider the human capital implications of the change and uncertainty we’re going through? 
  7. What has been the impact on our employees / talent wellbeing? How well are we addressing these concerns?  
  8. What are the trends around our employee engagement and retention? 
  9. Have we been intentional about building a culture of Resilient Adaptability? 
  10. What business outcomes do we strive to achieve over the next 12 to 36 months? How will Resilient Adaptability need to play a role?

Fostering a culture of Resilient Adaptability begins at and is modeled from the top of the organization. Unfortunately, DDI’s Global Leadership Forecast 2023 found that critical gaps persist for key skills leaders need for the future. Managing successful change is one of those critical skill gaps that must be developed. Might your organization fall into this gap?

How to build a culture of resilient adaptability is something I’ve been working with clients on for years. If your responses to these ten questions are not where they need to be or you’re not sure how to address them, let’s have a conversation. I’m here to help.

GGG Unleashed: Better Leaders, Better Workplaces Podcast

Watch for our upcoming episodes on building a culture of resilient adaptability and wellbeing

  • Building a Culture of Resilience: Lessons from the Battlefield with Retired Col. Charlie Davis, CEO, Davis Strategic Consulting and Coaching, Retired Senior US Military Intelligence Officer – Nov. 19, 2023 Part 1 & December 19, 2023 Part 2

Meet the Guest Virtual Workshop – Tuesday, November 28, 2023, 12:00 p.m. ET

Go deeper with Col. Charlie Davis during this virtual workshop. Col. Davis has fascinating stories to share from his military experience and will answer your burning questions on how to build a culture of resilience within your workplace. 

Register: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0pcuCvpjkpGdVl520M1jy7YUN2as0socYc


She’s a woman on a mission, prepped and ready to help you create resilient leaders and a workplace that is poised to succeed. Having weathered her fair share of corporate and career crises of all sizes, Vivian Blade MBA, MBB, PMP, is a global leadership expert and thought leader who equips leaders with the resilience that inspires teams to recover quickly in the face of ongoing disruption and thrive in spite of insurmountable odds.

Vivian empowers leaders and organizations as a frequent keynote speaker for association conferences and in delivering transformative leadership development programs, executive coaching and consulting for corporations.

Copyright 2023 Vivian Blade