Here is what Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, said about the importance of resilience in running successful organizations: “If you think of [resilience] in terms of the Gold Rush, then you’d be pretty depressed right now because the last nugget of gold would be gone. But…with innovation, there isn’t a last nugget. Every new thing creates two new questions and two new opportunities.”
There are few American technology entrepreneurs or investors who have as much experience or as much success as Bezos. He knows all about what it takes to build an innovative and sustainable business. It wasn’t easy. But he understood that, to succeed, one of the critical factors is the ability to be resilient…to change as needed and to be effectively agile in the face of unexpected challenges.
There are so many ways the market can shift abruptly and without warning. The economy can tank, the competition can come out with a new and better product and whole industries can collapse. Even small disruptions can threaten the viability of your business. Only those organizations that have figured out how to prepare for small or large calamities are the ones that will thrive. In fact, our recent organizational alignment research found that leadership’s ability to respond to relevant market and industry changes was the top-rated factor and employees’ ability to change the third-rated factor for achieving 58% faster growth and 72% higher profits than companies with less agile leaders.
Is there a way to build resilience into your organization? There are certainly some steps you can take that will help you overcome the bumps in that upward curve…
1. Spread your bets.
This is not to say that you should not focus on the strategy that is best designed to get you where you want to go. Certainly you don’t want to dilute your efforts by running in too many directions at once. But you should have a viable Plan B. Or at least you should be working on two time cycles at once…one for the short- and the other for the long-term.
2. Respect the power of middle managers.
One of the ways businesses trimmed their budgets during the latest economic downturn was to flatten their organizations and do away with many middle managers. But it is just these folks who can make the difference when change is forced upon you. They are often the frontline interpreters between leadership and employees. When they buy into necessary change, your organization is more than half-way there. In other words, middle management is your force for resilience. Keep them well prepared and fully engaged.
3. Welcome different working styles.
After two decades working with clients around strategy, culture and talent, we advocate building an intentional, uniform culture by design. But that does not mean that everyone thinks the same. They should share values and support the company mission as one. But there is enormous resilience that stems from different points of view and working styles. You want clear and compelling goals that your team has accepted and drives toward. However, if everyone thinks the same way, you lose the value of different ways of addressing problems and miss out on potentially game breaking insights that come from diverse backgrounds.
Build change resilience any way you can. But these three steps will take you in the right direction: having a Plan B, building the strength of middle management and including different styles of thinking on your employee teams.
Corporate Change Is Personal
I’ve partnered with LSA Global at two companies now, and I consider them a valuable and trusted training and consulting resource. They recommended just the right solution to address our management development needs and have wonderful facilitators that match YuMe’s culture and style of our management team. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions with a valuable learning and development partner.
LSA Global’s consultant brought a fresh perspective to our behavioral based interviewing strategy for two key executive positions we needed to fill, and their consultant helped us develop questions that produced a much deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities. I am confident that the two new executives joining our organization have the right skills to add significant value. Throughout the process LSA was also very responsive in dealing with short lead time requests.
Because of the unique nature of our business, Excel is a core application in our accounting organization. After three attempts to find an Excel consultant who is capable of helping our finance team integrate advanced applications into our work processes we found LSA and Alex. He was not only a “Real” Excel expert but was masterful in helping us identify where to use Excel applications in our processes to increase our group’s efficiency.
SPO Partners & Co
Kim Silva, CFO
LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.
Senior Marketing Manager
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VP of Human Resources
On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.
LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.
Vice President Human Resources
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President and Chief Executive Office
Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.
Vice President of Human Resources
I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.
Director, Business Planning & Analysis
We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.
Director of Human Resources
I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.
Chief People Officer
“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”
VP Human Resources
Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.
Chief Financial Officer
The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.
Firmware Engineering Manager
We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.
Vice President, Human Resources
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