Resilience - much more than a buzzword!


When I founded Adaptiv Learning Systems in 1997 and started talking to companies about our resilience assessment and training programs, I quickly learned that the business world wasn’t quite ready to hear what we had to say. At that time, businesses were not yet investing heavily in so-called “soft skills” training programs that generated no apparent return on investment.

Today, it’s tough to read an article or listen to a news report that doesn’t contain the word “resilience”. And while it’s exciting that more people than ever are talking about it, I’m worried that the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. Overuse of any word can hollow out and dilute its meaning. I’m concerned that buzzword status is blunting the impact that our almost 20 years of work have shown resilience to have on individual health, happiness and engagement, along with organizational productivity and performance. So here's a quick reminder about the power of resilience:

At the Adaptiv lab, we’ve got data proving that resilience training produces measurable increases in effectiveness across multiple job and industry types. For instance:

  • Telesales reps at a large advertising firm achieved 120% of their sales objectives, an almost 15% improvement over a matched control group.
  • Sales reps at a North American investment management firm almost doubled their performance against a matched control group.
  • 1,900 first level managers at a global telecom generated a combined year over year savings of $43.3 million, generated from significant reductions in absenteeism of their direct reports and corresponding increases in individual productivity.
In addition to Adaptiv’s findings, our friends at meQuilibrium have developed a web-based platform for managing and reducing stress at the enterprise level, with Adaptiv’s resilience training process at its core. Their results to date have been impressive, showing significant lifts in overall health, happiness and engagement in large organizations across industry sectors.

Resilience – at least as we think of it at Adaptiv – is way more than a throwaway term. It’s a scientifically proven, learnable set of skills that helps people feel better and do better at home, at work, and everywhere in between!

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