Building Resilience


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This session was designed for the Engineering Conference of a major military aircraft manufacturer. Our brief, was brief: – ‘can you do something on change’ a little insight and investigation can go a long way – resilience became the focus of this session and to see 80 senior engineers and engineering directors in fits of laughter while designing a machine to build resilience in their staff reminded us that we were still doing just what we set out to do – making training more fun, making it more memorable while providing value for money – contact us for a chat if this sounds like something that you or your organisation might be interested in exploring e:

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  • Kodak – founded in 1880 – its slogan in 1888 was ‘you press the button and we will do the rest’ They were at the forefront of the digital revolution building the first digital camera in 1975 and forecasting a move away from film to digital in this order – government reconnaissance, professional photographer and final the mass market all by 2010 (they were about a decade out)How can a company with profits of $2.5 billion in 1999, fall to 222million loss in 2011with a share price fall of 98.05% in the last 10 years Activity – Hands up anyone that had a film camera..leave your hand up if you have a digital camera..put your other hand up if you also have a phone with a digital camera in it. Have a look around the room, what a market – yet that market is dominated by players that 10 years ago knew nothing about digital photography, Apple, RIM, Nokia, So over time you saw the change occurring, did some form of evaluation of the costs vs the benefits, and then made a decision to join the digital ‘in crowd’Lets do a quick cost benefit analysis around the move from Analogue (film) to Digital Image captureso the benefits in this case far out weight the costs - Have you ever considered doing that for other changes in your life?Lets talk more locally business such as Blacks, Past Times, Peacocks, MFI, Saab GB, have all had change forced upon them Professional Ventures Ltd ( previous owners of the Marriott hotel group…RBS are now the owners, and as we own RBS…..)
  • I am not saying that opportunity does not exist at the juncture (examples might be the opportunities that have opened up for cash rich sovereign wealth funds to cherry pick some of the national assets being offered by countries attempting to restructure and reduce there debt loading, the creation of the carbon credits market as a result of the climate change being directly blamed on anthropogenic effects. Global banks being able to expand cheaply into new markets acquiring small local building societies that may have over stretched themselves.) So – yes opportunity can exist during times of crisis – but for most individuals the difficulty we have seeing past the personal danger and any uncertainty at that incipient moment precludes us from envisioning a favorable juncture of circumstances.for most of us when we work backwards from the crisis, we have inbulit mechanisms to detect danger but this doesn’t usually come with instant vision of opportunity but rather uncertainty - and it is the uncertanity of change that most people perceive as danger. What we need as individuals and as leaders during times of uncertainty, doubt, hesitation, or feeling unsure is the ability to keep calm and carry on Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines “opportunity” as:a favorable juncture of circumstances;a good chance for advancement or progress.
  • Is this not just the height of what it is to be British, that stoic stiff upper lip, the get in the queue and don’t complain It is a great motto, it has transcended the generations and there is something about it that this generation is embracing – maybe it has something to do with the speed of change we all have to deal with, that there is so much uncertainty and so little permanence, and even though it came from the second world war, it represents a slower time. Hey…that’s all just a guess it could be that people need something to cover that damp stain on their wall!What it doesn’t tell us is how we actually keep calm…Activity On your tables I would like you to discuss how you keep calm and I would like you to come up with a group consensus of the top three things you do to keep calm I think that part of keeping calm is about resilience - so lets define resilience – and because of the audience lets look at it this way.
  • The primary definition can be applied to people – we are the material, we have the ability to return to our original shape ( mind set, paradigms, ways of doing things, seeing things and comfort zones) after change (deformation) – my one concern here is that unlike most materials that we know the limits of elastic and plastic deformation with people we do not. We all deal with change and uncertainty differently and it is our capacity to recover that defines our resilience
  • Activity Question the group
  • Dealing with change is not really about the change itself, it about our mindset when it comes to dealing with change
  • Marvin Gay tells us that Taxes Death and Trouble are the only three things for sure – I’m not so sure that the song would have been quite the hit had it been Taxes, Death and Change – but deep down we all know the truth – We all have to pay tax – unless you are Greek then its optional, Death will get us all in the end and you can count on things changing – you can never step into the same river twice
  • BCE = before common era ( the new and PC version of BC)What about a quick change … from except to accept
  • Expand on the calm list to add three things that make you more resilient
  • The holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, noticed that people in the camps who believed they had some measure of control over their circumstances were far more likely to survive than people who felt they were passive victims of circumstance. Resilient people take responsibility and take effective action to change things.
  • Start by questioning the room as to the definition of Proactive – OK what if we come at if from another angle? What is the opposite of proactive – reactive good! So if reactivity is the opposite what does proactivity look like?Any of you that remember your basic physics will recognize this – this is the incipience of a sustained or critical chain reaction ( where the rate of fission increases) You could describe this is a number of different ways – in relation to the energy release, as a chain reaction, as an ‘you said we were just doing this to make nuclear power’ momentLets start by looking at the stimulus and the response The stimulus in this reaction Is the initial neutron entering top left! Has the ongoing effect of splitting off two additional neutrons that may or may not go on to collide with other isotopes sitting on the edge of criticality! As humans we are bombarded with ‘neutrons’ acting as a stimulus on us - at work, at home, getting from work to home, playing sport….watching sport, driving, shopping, at the pub, with our kids, with our partners and friends – watching Paxman, and listening to Radio 1 – the difference here is that as a mature adult the resultant reaction is able to be contained
  • Freedom to choose has four components to it Independent willImaginationSelf awareness And Conscience
  • From here we are going to look at resilience and leadership … how do these come togetherActivity add some of these to your lists
  • Leadership is defined as many things, the provision of vision , you can add something in there about the attainment of worthwhile goals through the marshaled activities of others, Leadership is about people, where management is about stuff. For those of you that have been exposed to situational leadership ( where leadership is any attempt to influence another). In the case of change the attempt to influence an individual in the direction of the change! For the purpose of this exercise I would like this to become your definition of leadership…
  • Taken from their 2003 book The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal RenewalThe main ideas of Loehr and Schwartz in this book are: 1. To build capacity expend energy vigorously, and then restore it by resting. 2. To work without expending energy, use daily routines. 3. Use rituals to signal to your internal systems to ramp up and ramp down energy expenditure. If we reflect on these insights they can be further reduced to a single concept: energy. Some activities renew energy and others exhaust it.
  • You will notice flip chart paper on your tables and coloured markers, here is where you get to use them, I would like you to design a machine or a process that will create the resilient human, what needs to be added, what needs to be taken away, in what order should things happen, what are the mechanisms to make things happen along the way, where are the bottle necks, where do we need interaction with other processes? You have a list of at least 6 things that your group considers important, so thats your start point – add any others you feel necessary.
  • There are those leaders that encourage resiliency. They know that volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity are likely here to stay. What are they doing differently?
  • As I begin to wrap this short session up, I would like to take a moment to reflect on a couple of Gandhis’ teaching – with one of mine in the middle. ‘Be the change you what to see in the world’ - that’s Gandhi ‘Be the Resilience you wish to see in your Teams’ that’s mine. If you don’t put your oxygen mask on first before helping others you only have 3 to 6 mins before you passout – help yourself so you can help others.
  • Building Resilience

    3. 3. Video on change here
    4. 4. WELCOME TO THE AGEOF UNCERTAINTY• Global change• Financial infrastructure collapse• Global climate change• Arab Spring• Government debt• Business collapse• More Importantly…
    5. 5. THESE ARE THE CRISIS OFOUR TIME! A time of Danger A time of Danger A Incipient Moment / time of Opportunity Crucial PointA time of Opportunity IncipientMoment/Crucial Point Crisis
    6. 6. RESILIENCE ANDLEADERSHIPThe physical property of a material that canreturn to its original shape or position afterdeformation that does not exceed its elasticlimitThe capacity to recover quickly fromdifficulties; toughness
    7. 7. RESILIENCE ANDLEADERSHIP Why Do We Need To Be Resilient At Work?
    8. 8. WHY WE NEED RESILIENCE AT WORKSpeed of change in our environmentMultiple changes occurring simultaneouslyPressure to do more with lessThe need to play multiple roles, wear multiplehats, and satisfy multiple customersWork/life balance - OUT of balanceChanging goal posts –what was important thenis not important nowChanging job descriptions/roles/grades.
    9. 9. WHY WE NEED RESILIENCE AT WORKIncreasing pressure to achieve higher levels ofperformanceOutsourcing, downsizing, rightsizing and thefear of job lossProject overloadMeetings that achieve nothingLoss of control over our work, our time, ourpriorities, and our objectives,Uncertainty about the future.
    10. 10. There is nothing permanent,except permanent acceptchange -- Nathan Akers 2012 Heraclitus 500 BCE
    11. 11. RESILIENCE ANDLEADERSHIP What do we need to be Resilience?
    12. 12. WHAT RESILIENCELOOKS LIKE;View problems as Have a sense ofchallenges humor and are not afraid to laughLearn from their at themselvesmistakes Are realisticallySucceed despite optimistictheir hardships Don’t feel shameDon’t let doubt or depression inand anxiety the face of failureoverwhelm them Are proactive.
    13. 13. WHAT ISBetter still – What is a Proactive Person? PROACTIVITY?
    14. 14. What is a Proactive Person? Freedom Stimulus to Response Choose
    15. 15. THE FOUR HUMANENDOWMENTSSelf-Awareness – our ability to examine ourown thoughts, moods and behavioursImagination – our ability to visualise beyondour current experience and circumstancesConscience – our understanding of right andwrongIndependent Will – our ability to actindependent of external influences
    16. 16. “It is not the strongest of the species thatsurvives, nor the most intelligent thatsurvives. It is the one that is the mostadaptable to change.” -Charles Darwin 1809 - 1882
    17. 17. RESILIENCE IS A MINDSETResilience is less about who we are than how we thinkOur mindsets or Paradigms directly influence and shapehow we view the world and how we view ourselves withinthat worldThis view of self, in turn, influences how we respond ( ourbehaviors) to adversity and stress – with a healthy &productive response or an unhealthy & unproductiveresponseThe strength of our resilience mindset and the force ofour behaviors enable us to, in turn influence or shape ourenvironment
    18. 18. DEVELOP YOUR RESILIENCESelf- AssurancePersonal VisionFlexibleOrganisedProblem SolverInterpersonal competenceSocially ConnectedProactive
    19. 19. Leadership is the ability to recognisethe need for change, explain that need to others and to help them get from where they are now to where that change would have them be’
    20. 20. LEADERSHIP AND RESILIENCEEmergent leadership (leadership from middlemanagers) and engaging, supportive leadershipstyles may heavily influence the ability ofemployees to be resilient to adverse events:‘Leaders are the stewards of organisational energy[resilience]...they inspire or demoralise others, firstby how effectively they manage their own energyand next by how well they manage, focus, investand renew the collective energy [resilience] ofthose they lead’ (Loehr and Schwartz 2003).
    21. 21. ‘In here for added resilience only $1.00’
    22. 22. DEVELOPMENT: TIPSFOR FOSTERINGRESILIENCYWhat steps can leaders take to fosterresiliency within their organisation orteam?What behaviors do leaders exhibitfoster resiliency within their teams?As a leader what are you doing torenew the energies of your teams?
    24. 24. Be the ResilienceYou Wish To See In Your Team
    25. 25. Just a little context… Whatever you do will be insignificant. But it is very important that you do it. — Mahatma Gandhi
    26. 26. A LITTLE ABOUT ACTIVE CONSULTING LTDBased in Barnsley in the United Kingdom, Active Consulting have clients all over the world.We were formed in 2000 by Nathan Akers who just wanted to make training more fun,more memorable and give those buying training a better return on their investment.This session was designed for the Engineering Conference of a major military aircraftmanufacturer. Our brief, was brief: – ‘can you do something on change’ a little insight andinvestigation can go a long way – resilience became the focus of this session and to see 80senior engineers and engineering directors in fits of laughter while designing a machine tobuild resilience in their staff reminded us that we were still doing just what we set out to do– making training more fun, making it more memorable while providing value for money –contact us for a chat if this sounds like something that you or your organisation might beinterested in exploring e: +44 (0)7968 192 379