Do You Bend Or Break For #VUCA? – Flexibility And Resilience

Any self-respecting business with claims on sustainability or ambition to win these days, is aware that we live in a #VUCA world and the ways we used to employ to do business as recently as a few years ago, are simply no longer fit for purpose

“Speed” is the word of the day and to use it and respond to it, the main task for us all, irrespective of industry or job title, is to dig deep in our own adaptability reserves.

On an individual level, this is challenging and it throws into question most of our cognitive and social patterns at work where predictability and stability were a guarantee not long ago, and where, projects used to take years and be defined by a known and certain trajectory. By contrast, today, with the principles behind Lean and Agile finally sipping into every business, and the new ways of work having been infused to a certain degree everywhere, the goal is to test and potentially fail fast. MVPs, POCs, and all other acronyms say the same thing “here’s a thing we’re doing/building today, but it may completely change or vanish overnight and you should be good with that”. It’s a hard pill to swallow for many of us.

Similarly, at a team level, that amount of flexibility is even more necessary. The effects of a project meandering or shifting are even more acutely felt in a group mentality, where the “uncomfortability of change” is being echo-chambered in the reactions of others. And yet the team has to find a way to easily adapt to any type of change and -hopefully, ideally- even find ways to relish it and enjoy the freedom and the speed that this new outlook offers. 

Not only do teams have to be flexible, but they have to remain resilient through this amount of change too. As this video shows, simply having a flexible mindset, doesn’t guarantee lasting power, the ability to truly recover and overall resilience. 

Both of these are absolutely necessary for the magic of #PsycholologicalSafety to appear and remain within the bubble of a team. And we need that magic to make great things happen. 

This episode from the “Chasing Psychological Safety” video series deals with the differences and similarities between “Flexibility” and “Resilience” and the need to test and monitor both.

 If you’re interested in the anatomy of change and its effects on resilience in particular at the leadership level, be sure to also follow the amazing Karen Ferris and her writings and videos on the topic. 

Give us some examples of where you’ve witnessed one but not the other, or maybe where change has been challenging or on the contrary, welcomed? How flexible and resilient is *your* team?

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