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Leadership Best Practices to Upgrade Organizational Resilience for the Age of Disruption

By Numly - Leadership Coaching Group
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The Japanese proverb, “Nana korobi, ya oki” defines resilience simply and clearly. The proverb means, you fall seven times and stand up eight times.

In today’s day of constant disruption and change, having such an approach becomes imperative for success. Building a resilient organization is no longer an option but a necessity to absorb the shocks and disruptions and convert them into growth opportunities.

However, building resilient organizations can be challenging in today’s day since business leaders are battling a buffet of multiple disruptions all at once. Declining markets and economic downturns coinciding with talent shortages, supply chain disruptions, etc., are all happening simultaneously. The fact is that this uncertainty and pace of disruption is only going to increase. And with this, there will come the need for teams to realize outcomes with greater agility.

Leaders have the tall order to cultivate and strengthen organizational resilience. But how can they do so? Some of the key things to do are:

Build Leaders Not Followers 

Great leaders don’t create more followers. They create more leaders. This significantly helps in driving resilience across the organization. This is because leaders with this attitude are focused on helping people develop a leadership mindset by becoming more solution-driven in their approach.

 Leaders as such need to work on helping their teams become more emotionally mature and adaptable, responsive instead of reactive, curious, and highly self-aware with an emotional vocabulary that is as verbose as their technical vocabulary.

Leaders have to help employees develop their critical skill sets, coach them to catalyze new behaviors and mindsets, encourage curiosity and close the skills gap, both technical and critical, to foster a culture of resilience. 

Build Resilience into Team Structures

Empowering teams to become more accountable towards outcomes, enabling them to move along a growth path, and creating a culture of continuous learning contribute towards greater resilience.

Resilience comes from the knowledge that one has the skills and the capability to navigate any situation, irrespective of how challenging it is. So, resilience automatically begins to increase when we are enabled with knowledge and the right skill sets.

Identifying the learning needs and skill gaps of the workforce and taking data-backed approaches is a good starting point for building resilience. Managers have to coach more and manage their teams less to build greater camaraderie between disparate, distributed, and diverse teams. They have to create an environment of psychological safety for their teams by elevating their own and the team’s emotional intelligence and curating growth pathways for their team members.

Focus on Skill Development

The skill sets needed for success are on the path of continuous evolution. While technical skill gaps need to be covered, developing critical skills like teamwork, communication, empathy, ownership and accountability, etc., is important. These critical skills are becoming essential to navigate this hybrid and distributed world of work and drive collaboration and innovation across teams.

Leaders can create a culture of continuous learning and have robust skill development and coaching programs to help their workforce remain relevant in a fast-changing world. However, along with ensuring that the L&D programs offered by the organization are relevant, they need to ensure that they are agile enough to help their workforce upskill themselves and access the best coaches to meet their critical skill needs at speed. 

These work environments also provide a two-way advantage as they are more successful in attracting top talent. And top talent increases the chances of success and, thereby, perpetuates a cycle of resilience.

Encourage Emotional Intelligence

Leaders have to improve their own emotional resilience and help their employees do the same. Emotional Intelligence or EQ is the ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions and to recognize and respond appropriately to the emotions of others.

EQ has several elements, which include traits like self-awareness, response management, distress management, empathy and understanding, and relationship management. All these qualities contribute to personal and professional success and build a culture of resilience.

Improve Communication

Clear and transparent communication is essential for building a culture of resilience in today’s work environment. As hybrid work, distributed teams, and global markets become the new normal, the role of communication in driving success and organizational resilience rises.

Clear and transparent communication fosters teamwork and creativity. Poor communication leads to disengagement, confusion, fear, and poor productivity. Mastering the art of giving feedback, improving communication methods, making communication clear, transparent, and timely, etc., are some of the areas to look at.

It is also essential that leaders pay attention to their unconscious biases to see if they are clouding their communication and thereby impacting the resilience of the team. A leader who speaks with empathy, respect, understanding, and assertiveness is trusted more and can build psychological safety within the organization. This, in turn, builds greater resilience in teams because there is no unnecessary fear or worry about being disrespected for making a mistake.

Nurture a Growth Mindset

A culture of resilience cannot be built without having a growth mindset. As such, leaders have to embody the fact that every failure is a growth opportunity. Developing a growth mindset needs skills like curiosity and an approach that moves them from being problem-driven to being solution-driven.

Coaching leaders and employees to move towards a solution-driven mindset automatically builds resilience. This is because people then develop a mindset where they do not waste time dwelling on the problem. The problem is simply a data point. They invest their energy in identifying the opportunity in the problem and then focus on finding the best solution to reach the desired state.

Wrapping Up

Given the level of disruption we are constantly experiencing, resilience is emerging as ‘the’ skillset of the time. Resilience is no longer only about grit and determination. It is more about increased self-awareness, self-management, and responsiveness to the situation and people around us. It is the innate ability of people to deal with adverse situations, withstand stress, and know that ‘this too shall pass’ because they have faith in their skills, capability, and support.  

Connect with us to see how our AI-powered coaching platform can help your leaders build a culture of resilience in your organization.

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