March 17, 2020

Risk and resilience


 “Resilience is the ability to recover or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” Online dictionary definition


South Africans are nothing, if not resourceful and resilient, well demonstrated in drought and power failures. Running a business in these trying times calls for courage and flexibility too. I am currently reminding myself that out of chaos, comes opportunity, and have managed to weather many a storm in more than a quarter of a century. For a decade I had a personal brand column, and with writing some worthwhile words of wisdom for an aspirational audience, came the opportunity of cheerleading too. So today, when we are having to be more resilient and resourceful than ever, re-inventing, I am returning to what I know. Working off our personal balance sheets we listed our assets (qualities), of which these three R words came out tops. After that, came creativity and flexibility.

Rather than burrowing down under the duvet watching Netflix, this is a time for collaboration of a different kind. It starts with the team, getting their input on a possible way forward. Allow me to share some of my sentiments to help you galvanise yourself and your team into appropriate action. There is no doubt that we are going to work and communicate differently in future. Today is the future.


A leader needs to encourage their team to think and do differently. The culture of an organisation will define how the people cope with change, as the culture is often defined by the simple headline, “This is how we do it”. It is now going to be, “How should we do it, differently, together?”.

Start by:

  • Encouraging a sense of independence in each individual, and collectively a feeling of inter-dependence.
  • Also encourage re-invention, the potential to improve actions and elements of the workplace, even when they seem good.
  • Let the aspiration be to become great rather than good.

With resilience one emerges from an experience stronger. Resilient team members exhibit flexibility, focus, positivity and humour. They can learn from their mistakes, to recognise and use opportunity to their best advantage and to stay focused on the overall goal. Build a culture that is resilient and resourceful, and you will not only survive these turbulent waters, but ultimately thrive too. Be creative, be careful and may you stay strong and healthy.

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