Resilience   going beyond an introduction
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Like this? Share it with your network

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads


Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide


  • 1. Resilience - going beyond an introduction Philip J Connolly RNIB Group
  • 2. There are no silver bullets - but are there?Is it not possible that if scientists can findfractions of subatomic particles they canalso find the qualities that rebuild mindsand in turn develop stronger communitiesand transform the prosperity of economiestoo? However this time the discoveries willcome not from a reductionist approach butfrom a systems analysis approach thatlooks at the interplay of human factors.
  • 3. Resilience - types• Two types of resilience - both taken from studies of the natural world• One - the time taken for a system to return to equilibrium (stability) following a disturbance event - concerned with dynamics close to equilibrium• Two - the amount of disturbance that a system can absorb before changing to another stable regime - concerned with dynamics far from steady state• many other definitions exist too
  • 4. Two relevant definitions• The magnitude of disturbance that can be absorbed before the system changes its structure by changing the variables and processes that control behaviour (Gunnderson and Holling, 2002)• The capacity of a system to experience shocks while retaining essentially the same structure, function, feedback and therefore identity (Walker et al, 2006)
  • 5. Resilience and disability• Austerity measures likely to have the effect of reducing both benefits and in response to tighter labour markets possibly support too - note the capping of the Work Choice and Work Programme• Possible focus on young and non-disabled but this ignores the economic and social contribution of disabled people both real and potential• Resilience is a human quality transferable to organisations and systems, reaping its benefits depends upon better understanding of all people but especially the disabled who have had to find new ways of doing things others take for granted
  • 6. The transferable nature of resiliency• Hope released by Pandora - according to Greek mythology• Positive feelings and support groups increase immune system functioning - As long as humans experience adversity they will experience hope• Leibniz (1710) coined the word optimism• Hope is what people have and optimism is what people believe - optimism strengthens resilience• Emmerson (1841) self-reliance - ability of people to take control of their lives• Wiseman (2003) luck related to how lucky you feel - measureable• Seligman (1990) seven year study "Resilience not an inborn trait, it could be acquired"
  • 7. "Along came coping"• Lazarus (1960s) defined coping - a persons ability to successfully handle constantly changing demands and difficulties• Resilience combines hope, optimism, positive attitudes and the ability to imagine a desired condition in a way that motivates and guides their purposeful coping actions.• NOTE - the ability to think pessimistically is still an important attribute - to prevent optimism becoming unfounded or utopian
  • 8. Achievement thinking• McClelland (1969) study of why some college students succeed but others dont despite having higher IQs• They daydream about how they would feel about reaching a certain goal• They pick moderately challenging goals• They engage in both optimistic and pessimistic thinking• They seek prior advice from experienced people• Achievement thinking can be learned - because of the cast system McClelland chose India to test this proposition successfully
  • 9. The promotion of serendipity• Walpole (1754) defined serendipity thus - using wisdom to convert an unexpected event, accident or mishap into good fortune. It is a high level resiliency skill.• Do single persons possess good time management skills?• Do blind people benefit from the trust of strangers or the failure to note the inhibiting disapproving glance of others?• Do ex-offenders have empathy with those in gangs but who have not yet committed a serious offence?• Serendipity not to be confused with synchronicity
  • 10. The biological nature of change• Biologists discovered that cells carry a "knowledge" that allows them to be different kinds of cells than the ones already formed - it as if they know what function has been assumed by the differentiated cells that came before them.• Embryonic development is influenced more by the morphogenic field of its complete body than by the physical structure of its chromosomes• (Sheldrake, 1981)
  • 11. Lessons about the nature of systems• If energy input is increased beyond what a closed, simple system can absorb, the system will either disintegrate or reorganise into a more complex open system• The above process does not happen in a linear step by step way possibly because complex living systems self- organise to harmonise with the energies they take in• Open non-linear systems need disequilibrium or they will deteriorate - he described a closed system as being blind to outside events. He found that an open complex system can take into account differences in its way of functioning and will become adaptive to outside conditions (Ilya Prigogine nobel prize winner 1977)
  • 12. Resilience in the literature on blindness• Individuals who adapted well or poorly to the loss of their vision can be differentiated on the basis of the Cattell 16 PF assessment in 81% of minimally depressed and 75% of social independence - Greenough, Keegan and Ash 1981 - personality key• In the case of a college student totally blinded in an accident who achieved a remarkably rapid and effective adjustment the following factors were noted: 1) the persons extroverted optimism, 2) the support of a cohesive family, 3) a family united by shared values and beliefs, 4) the ability to find meaning and purpose in adversity, 5) hospital staffs unequivocal acknowledgement of the irreversibility of the injury and 6) the involvement of the rehabilitation counsellor Hoehn-Saric, Frank, Hirst and Seltser, 1981
  • 13. Highly resilient uniquely complex self forming humans• You become resilient by continuously learning your best way of being yourself• The bifurcate point - when external demands cannot be resisted - if you can avoid being crushed beyond recovery you will emerge a different, better more effective person. The brain remains plastic in its ability to reorganise throughout ones lifetime (Davidson, 2000)• Businesses are facing non-stop change - prompting new forms of organisation and leadership (Wheatley 2001, building resilient organisations -
  • 14. Business resilience - an historical perspective
  • 15. Business Resilience• IBMs definition - "The ability of an organizations business operations to rapidly adapt and respond to internal or external dynamic changes - opportunities, demands, disruptions or threats - and continue operations with limited impact to the business." quoted from
  • 16. Characteristics of resilient business planning• Proactive inclusion of the business operations staff in resilience planning• Concern with ensuring that the business never goes down• Can accommodate incidents with the minimal impact• Can absorb the impact of an event whilst maintaining service to customers• Business procedures already being performed in multiple locations by multiple people• Ability to withstand local failure without going to back up facilities• Taken from "Business Resilience Management TM 2008
  • 17. Some early thoughts on Government support for individual disability resilience• Increase the Access to Work funding without reducing the quality of individual support packages• Add vocational rehabilitation (employment retention to the list of reasonable adjustments and make knowledge of Government specialist disability support itself a reasonable adjustment• Ensure initiatives aimed at training, self employment and micro enterprise includes provision for the additional costs of assistive technology
  • 18. Disability Resilience Network - suggested purpose• sets new value in the attributes of disabled people• to emphasise coping strategies and adaptation instead of loss• develop new arguments and evidence for the inclusion and integration of disabled people in national and local economic strategies• dovetail our own language and outlook with that of Government and industry as they also seek greater resilience• help define the concept whilst it is still fluid to mean an active response to loss and not a blitz type spirit of making do• to bring new potential allies into play in resolving the exclusion of disabled people e.g. industry and commerce
  • 19. Suggested year 1 work programme• 1) Promotion of the concept and establishing existing research and evidence base• 2) Identification of and affiliation with leading researchers• 3) produce a draft set of articles and memorandum for a resilient society supportive to and of the aspirations of disabled people• 4) increase the formal organisation of the network e.g. membership records and "resilitators" i.e. ambassadors• 5) Produce a pamphlet on resilience and disability• 6) hold seminars with decision makers around the pamphlet
  • 20. Suggested year 2 work programme• 1) work with people with existing commitments to undertake research to build an evidence base for resilience focusing upon the transfer of its defined qualities from people into structures and organisations to their performance benefit• 2) identify the prospects for a resilience centre and draw up a proposal capable of attracting the interest of funders or grant making bodies• 3) seek the associate membership of key trade bodies with the network• 4) produce second pamphlet on resilience and stigma, include some new parables for the 21st century
  • 21. Additional suggested year 2 activities• 4) seek the support of the Para-Olympians as "resilitators" after the games• 5) hold seminars with theologians
  • 22. Suggested year 3 work programme• 1) benchmark good practice in resilient organisations and especially the value of disabled people over and above their individual productivity to the business culture and representation of the organisation• 2) link to universities with resilience studies in degree courses especially in business and/or disability studies• 3) submit funding proposals for a resilience centre possibly hosted in a UK university• 4) third resilience and disability pamphlet focusing upon the value of customised technology to the adaptation of disabled individuals
  • 23. Additional suggested year 3 activities• 5) hold seminars with the assistive and medical technology industry• 6) pilot resilience with newly disabled people to monitor its effectiveness in supporting adaptation and coping strategies
  • 24. Suggested year 4 work programme• 1) assuming funding proposals are successful establish the resilience centre with a sustainable research budget and begin wider dissemination of research findings especially to the disability advocacy movement and to industry• 2) approach television programme makers for commission of programmes exploring resilience and disability• 3) fourth disability and resilience pamphlet focusing upon the cultural aspects of resilience• 4) hold seminar with cultural industry and arts and trend leaders
  • 25. Suggested year 5 work programme• 1) begin to document the value to business of the resilient approach i.e. flexibility in response to changing external demand and market environment• 2) fifth disability and resilience pamphlet on lessons for industry• 3) seminar with business leaders from FTSE 100• 4) publish the results of the pilots and identify successful elements to inform political lobbying
  • 26. Suggested year 6 work programme• 1) identify Government support for resilience to flourish and to do so to the advantage of disabled people• 2) sixth disability and resilience pamphlet focusing upon government role• 3) seminar for Government decision makers i.e. officials and ministers• 4) market research the support for resilience both in the general population and especially within both the disabled population and our own client group
  • 27. Suggested year 7 work programme• 1) awards for disabled individuals contributing to the resilience of their communities in austere times• 2) seventh disability and resilience pamphlet focusing upon community resilience and the role of disabled people• 3) seminar with community leaders• 4) win Government support for a Resilience programme that provides new infrastructure for disabled people to both contribute to society but also for society to benefit from them
  • 28. The suggested network and work programme• Open to your own amendment and modification• Open to you and your organisations involvement and to an extent of your own choosing• Open to you to promote through articles in your own journals and websites, seminars and conferences, artistry and creativity, influence and networks
  • 29. Thank you•• 0207 391 3266