Anti-Fragility- More than resilience

Resilience! A word that has become widely used because of obvious situations around the world. As the pandemic drove organisations and their workforce into developing ways of staying in operation through the unannounced wave of the Covid-19 virus, it became necessary for people to develop the character and skills to withstand the blow that came from these unprecedented events.

Extended lockdowns and stay at home order wasn’t the way we lived. People lost their jobs, loved ones. Others became depressed and struggled to remain productive as they worked from home.

As things ease off in some parts of the world, while others struggle with a new variant, some a second wave, and others a third wave, the conversation for organisations has been around how to recover, stay relevant, bounce back, be resilient. In this context, the focus is on how to stay unbroken by these tough times.

But, can we go a step beyond resilience? As we navigate through 2022, we think there is a chance to allow the storm to take our ships to their destinations.

Instead of reacting to situations like this by developing tough skins and showing resilience, organisations can be proactive and set themselves up to benefit from unforeseen situations like the one brought about by the COVID 19 virus.

Mudita Pasari, a Narrative and Strategic Designer said “We have always been told to build contingencies while designing a system, but what if we were to build opportunities instead? Opportunities to thrive with every blow that our system takes. Opportunities to stop looking at the ‘survival despite of’, but move towards the idea of ‘growth because of’.”

Anti-fragility doesn’t stop at absorbing or withstanding tough times. It looks at how organisations can become proactively prepared to not just withstand huddles but turn them into springboards for improved business performance.

There could be another pandemic. Maybe not a pandemic, but an event so unpredictable that may change our lives forever. What then happens? Do we wait till such an event befall us then we build systems with strong characters to withstand the shock and the cycle continues?

It is good to build robust systems. i.e., your system remains unshaken after a turbulent period. But it is better to build antifragile systems. i.e., your system reacts to the turbulence by becoming better after it.

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