Resilience - introduction
We have been presenting resilience workshops and seminars to help individuals master stress and increase their personal resilience since 2011. The results we achieved have been impressive, better than we ourselves expected! Individual managers started spreading the techniques we taught to their teams, and organisations saw the benefits in reduced stress-related illness.
We made the decision to take The Resilience Programme to a whole new level. Our aim was to build on our individual programme by developing support for managers to build team resilience. We also wanted to help senior leaders and business owners build resilience in their organizations. To do this we knew that we needed a bigger team, more products and services, and a streamlined organisation that could handle it all. In short we decided to get serious about resilience.
what does ‘getting serious’ mean?
We feel strongly the need to continually grow, evolve and adapt what we do. After all, how can we teach resilience if we don’t practice it ourselves?
With this in mind, we looked to ourselves, our team and our organisation to explore exactly what it is that makes us work. Why do we gel as a team? What are the elements that allow the energy to flow when we sit in a room together? And how can we harness this learning - our own journey - to further support others on theirs?
But we didn’t stop there. We dug deep and looked to our systems and processes, to ensure that they were robust enough to support us when things got busy. As a small team, we need to work smart and maximize the use of time, energy and resources. We needed to explore the rate of growth, which would work for us, and to attract the right people to support us in this endeavor.
Of course, learning is a continual process, but we’ve made some fascinating discoveries that we are keen to share.
what have we learned?
• Generosity. Generosity comes first because it is the philosophy that underpins the writing of this article. We have learned to be generous with our knowledge, experience and skills – and to this end have shared much of our writing, tools and workshop material on this website for anyone to access and download. Our wish to spread the message of resilience and for others to have access to the tools goes beyond our wish for financial reward, and we believe that the experience of our workshops, coaching and seminars surpasses what a person or group could achieve by working with the material alone. We’ll share what we learn freely, but encourage people to come along and experience what it feels to work with the new concepts in ‘real life’.
• Planning, planning and more planning. Early on in 2014 we created a business framework document - it set out who we were, what we planned to do, how we would do it, what the roles consisted of, our aims, principles, values and ethics. We also defined the qualities we were looking for in potential team members
• Attracting the right team. We’ve spent a long time exploring the types of people who would best fit with our team. In addition to skills and experience, we know that there is a certain set of qualities that new team members will display that makes them the perfect match for us. Note that we say ‘perfect match for us’… This is because we are not looking for perfection – in fact quite the opposite – but if the fit isn’t right we’ll pick this up and ensure that change is made.
• Mastering the subject. This is a continual process and one that we do not take lightly. Mastering resilience involves work on many levels – firstly we must look at and take care of our own resilience, and then look at the resilience of our team, and ultimately our organisation. As well as exploring resilience from this perspective, we also need to continually keep up to date with changes in the field – such as new discoveries in the area of neuroscience, psychotherapy and ecology.
• Creating the right tools. Whether this refers to a database for us to securely store our key customer information, a time recording system, or a shared drive with easy to access folders, we ensure that we are equipped with the right tools to do the job. Having straightforward, clear processes in place from the outset ensures that valuable time is not wasted trying to fix problems or back track at a later date.
• Working effectively. As a small team, we are keen to place our energy in the right place, to let go of work streams that are ineffective or unproductive and to focus our time working with those who want to be a part of what we do. We won’t swim upstream or work against the grain.
• Eliminating waste. This refers to time, money, resources and effort. We take learning from Permaculture that places emphasis on the intelligent design of systems and processes in order to ensure that waste is minimal. We feel that this approach enables us to achieve great results without feeling overwhelm or burnout.
• Preserving knowledge. We are dedicated to capturing ideas, research and written work and storing them in one place for easy access at all times. This helps us to avoid duplication and ensure that valuable time is spent improving what’s there rather than re-inventing the wheel.
If you would like to get serious about resilience then we would love to hear from you...