There’s no doubt that many organisations with in Australia and overseas have been facing tough times in recent years due to an ever increasing competitive, global and digital marketplace. Nowadays, there is more and more pressure for your business to stand out from the crowd and outperform your rivals. This can put tough demands on your employees at all levels to work harder, smarter, faster and to come up with original, innovative solutions. This pressure can be debilitating in some cases and can lead to a stressed-out, unhappy work environment.
However, the good news is there is a solution. By harnessing the very adversity that threatens your organisation, you can transform it from something potentially destructive into something very positive.
As the celebrated author and organisational consultant Steven Covey says,
In essence, how we deal with adversity, setbacks, suffering, heartache, disappointment and injustice determine our success and ultimate greatness. We can choose to conquer or concede. This strikes me as one of the most inspiring, motivating and empowering ways we can view the inevitable struggles in our lives and work environment.
Of course tackling and overcoming the challenges of adversity within your business isn’t easy. It takes resilience, one of the hot topics in organisations these days. In fact, most senior executives that we’ve worked with over the years would agree that resilience is the single most desirable trait in their key personnel, ahead of intelligence, motivation, ambition and ability. Diane Coutu defines resilient people and companies as those who face their reality with staunchness, make meaning of hardship instead of crying out in despair and improvise solutions. It’s unlikely that any CEO would be lucky enough to recruit a workforce of individuals already equipped with great resilience, but fortunately resilience can be cultivated. There are many different theories on the best way to do this but our experience supports the method proposed by Coutu in 2005:
1. Accept Reality – Instead of denying setbacks, take a sober, down to earth view of the reality of the situation. Facing reality can be unpleasant but it’s only once we have accepted reality that we can act in ways that allow us to endure and survive extraordinary hardship.
2. Search for Meaning in Setbacks – When hard times strike, resist any impulse to view yourself or the organisation as a victim. Rather, set meaningful and concrete goals to make the present manageable and remove the sense that the present is overwhelming.Strong core values will help in the search for meaning by offering ways to interpret and shape events. They provide scaffolding in times of trouble.
3. Continually Improvise – When setbacks occur, be inventive. Make the most of what you have, putting resources to unfamiliar uses and imagining possibilities others don’t see. By becoming more focused, creative and driven, we can transcend our perceived limitations.
To help organisations grow and bounce back stronger in the face of adversity, wm consulting uses a tool which has become the most widely accepted in the world for assessing and strengthening the ability to deal with adversity. In engaging, results-focussed workshops, we measure and build the capacity of all employees to become more resilient and successfully harness the adversities of the everyday corporate world.
Have you come across adversity within your organisation? If your business is struggling in this area, don’t hesitate to contact us.