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Resilience: 12 ‘Must Do’ Objectives

So, you want to become resilient…

“Where should I start?

This is another popular question that pops up on our education courses or through our consulting/advisory services.  The 12 ‘must do’ objectives (they are numbered, but there is no rank order) are our evidence-based response to this problem (some consider these to be leadership objectives, which I would not argue with); you’ll find the evidence throughout this blog, as well as in our journal and research articles.

We do not claim to have ‘finalised’ this work, everything in this field seems to be ’emergent’ (a constant, and somewhat frustrating, work in progress), but these 12 conditions, coupled with the ‘resilience proposition of the minimum‘ form the core of our latest research, which we hope to publish later this year…we’ll keep you posted on our progress (both diagrams can be found below).

In the mean time, we hope that this can act as a stimulus for your thinking or at least a good conversation starter.

12 'Must Do' Resilience Objectives

Designed to be supported by 'The 12 Conditions for Resilience'

Designed to be supported by ‘The 12 Conditions for Resilience’

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6 comments on “Resilience: 12 ‘Must Do’ Objectives

  1. David G Wilson
    January 29, 2013

    ’13’ isn’t a number you want to hear but, when I heard Ming Campbell refer to ‘Resilience’ as a “buzzword” (last week’s Question Time), I have to say that, after the initial surprise, I had to agree.

    Without [13] MEASUREMENT, even with all the other ingredients in place, he has a fair point!

    Can anyone claim an enterprise (or similar system) to be sustainable, without providing evidence, in the form of a verifiable, quantifiable, measure of resilience*? After all, how can we identify the ‘weakest link in the chain’ without some means of objectively assessing all the links?

    *As in Engineering: 


  2. David Griffiths
    January 29, 2013

    Hi David… and I know ‘measurement’ falls directly within your scope of interest 🙂

    However, when I considered it, as part of the ‘must do’ list, it can be difficult to grasp – assessment is part of the resilience proposition of the minimum, as an underpinning principle, but ‘assessing all the links’? This is where I have a problem…how can we ‘assess all the links’ when, accepting the nature of complexity, the links will be discrete or emergent’ is it not about setting/managing/manipulating conditions, as opposed to measuring that which we cannot actually define or identify? Also, forgive me for being a pedant, but I believe there to be a significant difference between ‘sustainability’ and ‘resilience’ (

    Very open to discussion here, but I am just not convinced on measurement of that which has not been created or tested (especially in a non-linear environment, where the outcome cannot be known beforehand) – the measurement usually comes post disturbance, which is a problem in itself (the problems associated with inductive analysis – e.g. issues around big data analysis at the moment). If we are going to get into the measurement of conditions that are designed as preventative measures, do we not need at least a single event to begin to test our measurement tools/theories? Not only that, but even then we are constrained by the problems associated by a single, often socially driven, complex case (transferable, but not generalisable). Do we not need a deductive process to therefore test the propositions (hypothesis on probation, i.e. measurement tools) that we develop (this is why I wrote the blog on hypothetico-deductive reasoning approaches

    I hope I have explained myself clearly here. It is not that I am against measurement, but this is the core of my problem with including ‘measurement’ in the ‘must do’ list…

    Just to add, I do believe in measurement as part of the ‘feedback’ process, which should be a part of any complex system design (as in our K-Core model, but is that not part of a ‘sensory system’?

  3. Pingback: Leaderhsip: Should I be thinking about acting to prevent? | Theknowledgecore's Blog

  4. Iwan Jenkins
    February 15, 2013


    I agree with David

    If you think of resilience as the ability to survive and recover from wide range of (probably unpredictable) events, you can only after the event has completed—assuming you survive it.

    • David Griffiths
      February 17, 2013

      Iwan, good to ‘see’ you (good result against France btw)…took a look at your blog this week…highly recommended read, for those who haven’t found it yet.

  5. Pingback: The rich club, the secret to KM and the Resiliency Age? « Theknowledgecore's Blog

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This entry was posted on January 29, 2013 by in Complexity, Resilience and tagged , , .
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