culture at workculture changeManaging change Transformation not resilience

February 28, 2021by makewellg0

Transformation not resilience

Will you weather the storm or be transformed by it?

The option facing many of us now. An invitation.

Resilience is not a new concept at work. CIPD resources on this subject are dated 2011. Survival. Recovery. Rebounding despite adversity. These are the terms and descriptions associated with resilience.

There is no doubt that there is a place for this. To challenge fear, powerlessness and victimhood. To realise our personal power.

What if it’s time for something more?

The difference between transformation and resilience

Resilience is a concept with its history and roots in psychology and psychiatry. There have been many studies in these fields in attempt to understand how people cope with adversity and trauma.

It can be helpful for individuals/organisations who have experienced trauma/pain/uncontrollable events to take positive action.

However, there is a difference between transformation and resilience.  Resilience can become a blocker for longer-term growth and transformation. Resilience becomes a form of defence which is resistance to growth.

Resilience – the fight, survival, hardiness, strength, power – yes you survive. You fight to stay the same, to retain, to keep the status quo. You live to fight another day.

Transformation – you die (often messy and painful) and you give birth.

A difference.

Why transform? This is where many great gifts are found.  It is the birthing of creativity, innovation, personal growth and development.  It creates a completely new culture personally and organisationally.

Transformation or resilience, what’s best for you?

1) Take time to consider the above especially if this is new to you. Resilience and transformation are not the same thing. Neither is change and growth. Know the difference. This will help you to understand yourself more and the choices you have made in life.
2) Understand your goal – what do you want to achieve. If you have a business that is disengaged and disempowered, then developing resilience may be a start. Remember it is not the end goal. You may want to start transformation at a senior level or with yourself if this is new to you. If you or your leadership team are experienced in personal transformation, then you will want to develop this through-out your business.
3) Understand the benefits and limitations of resilience training and development personally and organisationally. The benefits and limitations are mainly in relation to the pace of growth. Transformation, depending on how much work you are prepared to do (mess and pain) will be much faster. Whereas resilience will help you keep your head above water – is this a good thing? In current times, this will become harder as more and more people fight for survival.
4) Aim to transform. See step by step guide to transformation.

The step by step guide to transformation will help you familiarise yourself with the process. I recommend that you only work with people who have mastered this process in themselves. It is worth noting I have worked with various psychologists/occupational psychologists who have not learned to navigate this in themselves.  Learning something intellectually does not mean to you have personal experience/understanding.

If you are an HR professional/business leader, learn this personally before attempting to guide/lead others through. Be cautious of HR trends – mindfulness, CBT, resilience training. Short-term, quick fixes are big business. Mainly because few people really want to engage in the longer-term, painful process of growth. Hence the fads.

Current organisation resilience interventions – design of job roles, processes and culture, leadership behaviours, external environment ……….

None focused on the transformation of an individual.

Transformation not resilience.

Change: break through inner and external resistance

Change: Letting go



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