Resiliency – 4 Simple Steps to prune before the wind comes!

resilience of an elastic band

Resiliency? Consider pruning before the “recession” wind hits!

Building resiliency, when facing a possible recession, will help ease fears of uncertainty. 

Recession or not, leaders should be proactive and consider what they can do right now to be in the best possible position when the next crisis inevitably occurs. The chance a particular issue will happen is quite small, but the likelihood of ‘something’ happening is much greater. Whether it’s a recession or something else, there will always be a ‘something else’ at some point in time. Instead of just being worried, there are actions you can take action now!

Healthy teams and organizations are better able to endure difficult periods. By investing in the cohesion & alignment of your teams, you are insuring against the challenges your company will face by adding organizational resiliency. 

Resiliency depicted by springs 

You must be intentional about eliminating the kinds of things that will exacerbate an issue when the inevitable arises. 

In this blog post, we’ll be sharing some exercises organizations need to put into place, what actions intensify problems, and what action items leaders need to take now.

Organizations versus Sports Teams

Consider a sports team example. If the coaches knew at the beginning of the year that a key player was likely to get hurt at some point in the season, they would likely take action to ensure the team was prepared. They wouldn’t know who or when, but knew it would happen out of nowhere. 

What about instead of focusing on plays and tactics to compensate, they spent time ensuring their team was strong and healthy; they trust each other, they are clear on their roles and priorities, and they demonstrate healthy conflict and accountability? Then in the middle of a game, when a key member goes down, the team is able to come together, be resilient, and find the best way to get through, rather than going to the locker room and thinking “oh no, what now?”

We all know we need insurance in the event something going wrong and organizations are no different. You can’t anticipate exactly what the next big thing is going to be but you can take steps now to ensure there’s no politics or confusion and that everyone is clear on who does what. 

There are four things ALL organizations need to be doing right now to prepare for difficult times ahead. By taking some simple steps now, your team will be better equipped to deal with whatever wind comes up in the future. 

Four Steps to Strengthen Corporate Resiliency:

1. Make sure your leadership team is as cohesive as possible. 

Identify any possible likelihood of politics, infighting, lack of trust and hesitancy around conflict. This is the time to look at these issues because when the shit hits the fan, all these things are going to get significantly worse.

Consider an audit, such as the Five Dysfunctions Assessment, to have real data to base your decisions on. This assessment will help you and your team find out where potential issues lie and outlines the proper steps to eliminate them. 

2. Make sure your leaders are completely aligned.

Leaders must be aligned and clear around six important questions. There is nothing worse than confusion among the leaders to cascade confusion through the organization. It is less important to have the right answer than it is for everyone to have the same answer.

3. Reinforce resiliency through communication.

Leaders need to be CROs – Chief Reminding Officers. Remind your team why you exist, how you are expected to behave, what business you are actually in, who does what, about your strategic anchors and your most important priority. Employees don’t often leave due to too much communication – but they do because they don’t have enough information. 

4. Put just enough structure in place to establish clarity through resiliency.

Consider all your people systems (meetings, hiring/firing, performance management, rewards/recognition) and build just enough process to ensure your system supports the clarity you’ve established in your organization. 

Organizational Health points to ponder.

What kinds of things exacerbate problems?

Leaders need to be on the lookout for certain behaviours that contribute to problems in the workplace. They need to understand why these actions can lead to more problems down the road. 

Lack of trust and subtle politics

During tough times, people are more likely to take care of themselves than others. They are also more likely to speak badly about others. Previous issues that weren’t dealt with and weren’t a big deal will bubble over to become huge deal breakers.

Misalignment and confusion

When things are going well, the small amount of light that exists between leaders when they aren’t completely aligned isn’t a big problem; however, when things in the environment start to be more challenging, the light between leaders can become blinding.

If time is limited and you only have one hour to get started on organizational health insurance, where should you start? 

Have your leadership team take the Organizational Health Survey to uncover which of the four areas needs the most immediate attention. 

Have your team to take the Five Dysfunctions Team Assessment to find out which fundamental is the biggest problem and make a plan to improve it. The cohesiveness of the team precedes everything else; if you aren’t behaviourally aligned, you’re not going to be able to address the other areas well.

Remember this work doesn’t need to be time-consuming or complicated, it just requires commitment. 

How can leaders manage their team as well as external distractions?

We know leaders have a lot they are dealing with on a day-to-day basis; some they can control and some they can’t. They must take control of the things they have internal control of. Shifting to focus on things outside their circle of influence is not as valuable as things within their circle of influence.

When we work within our circle of influence, it grows and we then have an even broader impact and influence. 

Organizational Health = Organizational Resiliency

There are key characteristics employees in healthy organizations share: 

  • Committed to their work and company,
  • Engaged in what they are doing
  • Know and understand what is happening in the organization
  • Truly feel as though they are a part of the company
  • Trust their leaders and colleagues. 

As a result, when something bad happens, they pitch in more. These trendy concepts of “quiet quitting” and “act your wage” are things that happen in dysfunctional organizations. Organizations exist where volunteers go above and beyond and are paid nothing. If you have a healthy organization, one of engagement and commitment, your people will give more. 

This is the kind of incalculable difference between a company being trashed or resilient during the unexpected. And once things start to improve, it’s the resilient companies that are going to bounce back and be ready to pivot faster. Not because they are intellectually smarter but because they are behaviourally healthier and recover faster.

There is no better time to make your organization healthy than right now. When things get tough, you and your team will be strong and secure. 

Do you have Organizational Health Insurance? What are some actions you put into place to make sure your organization is healthy? Listen to Patrick Lencioni talking about ‘Organizational Health‘ and that a healthy organization is a resilient one.

Not sure what to do? Contact NexLevel today for a FREE Organizational Health Check to find out where you are now and what simple steps can help you be better prepared for the storm ahead.

At NexLevel, we’re experts in building healthy organizations through cohesive teams and engaged employees. We will help you and your employees become the high-performance team you’ve always wanted to be by focusing on collaboration, creativity, culture, and connection. 

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You can Create a Healthier, more
Successful Organization.

And you don’t have to do it alone.