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Resilience in Trying Times

Submitted by Ann-Marie Flinn, President of Champion Change Agency, proud partner of Wellness Works Canada

The global response to COVID-19 has changed how we work, interact and learn.

Many industries and organizations are undergoing unprecedented change in an era where Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA) reign.

Organizations and their leaders are challenged with riding the wave of this new reality.

It is times like this where creative mindsets are more important than ever!

Some of the most successful businesses thrived during depressions, recessions and Wall-Street meltdowns because of a creative mindset.

Think of GE, Disney, P&G and Microsoft just to name a few.

These companies focused on outcomes versus problems. They took a panoramic view of the situation to see opportunities versus a fear-based, problem-oriented outlook to the rapid changes of industries and society as a whole.

They knew that consumers would still be in need of “things” and continued to act as though the public had money to spend.

These are companies that didn't wait for public demand for their products to rise. They created and innovated even during the most challenging of times.

Richard Deupree, a former P&G CEO during one of the world’s most trying times, the second world war, once quoted: "You can take away all the buildings, you can take away all the brands, and P&G people will rebuild the company."

What P&G and other resilient companies know is that human capital – creativity, team interaction, connection and trust – is the most valuable of all assets within a company.

It is here where innovation is born.

The common denominator, of all companies that have survived and thrived in challenging times, is their ability to embrace a culture of agility and change.

It is the interaction between human beings that matters and, ultimately, how the work gets done.

If companies only focus on process and structure changes, they are simply mowing the lawn when the house is on fire.

What is needed in these challenging times is nothing less than strategic and cultural transformation.

There are three vitals questions to ask yourself:

  1. Where are you placing your focus? Are you focusing on reacting to problems or on creating outcomes?

  2. How are you relating to others and organizational realities? Does the way of relating for teams or organizations produce or perpetuate “drama” or do they empower others to be resourceful, resilient and innovative?

  3. What actions are you taking? Are actions merely reactions to the problems of the day or are they generative in creating outcomes and results, while solving problems in service of the organization’s mission and vision?

To create change, organizations, leaders and all stake holders need to feel they are able to take the initiative to unlock their creativity and ‘what’s possible” mindset.

To choose to change, individuals need a sense of where the process will lead them (their outcome or mission statement).

Create passion around the means of change and an understanding of course correction (the baby steps) to continually move forward.

It’s with this curious and innovative mindset and leadership in all levels of an organization that will engage the “hearts and minds” of everyone involved in the change process and create resilience, innovation and success in the most trying of times.

Bottom line, cultural transformation is imperative in the current environment of change.

About the Author

Ann-Marie Flinn is the President and Founder of Champion Foundational

Change Agency, specializing in human and organizational performance. “We help drive engagement and reduce burnout so individuals, teams and organizations can perform to their full potential.” A graduate in Management from Dalhousie University, Ann-Marie is certified in workplace wellness consulting and coaching, Corporate AthleteTM Facilitation, nutritional and mindset coaching. She is also an internationally ranked athlete, a highly sought after keynote speaker and volunteers with various sports and non-profit organizations Ann-Marie lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada.



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