If You Want to Build Resilience Stop Saying These Words

Hardly a speech goes by these days without using the word unprecedented. And I’m weary of the humorless phrase “May we live in interesting times.” And then there’s “In the time of Covid…” as if we existed in a fairy tale.

These terms are understandable as we try to make sense of the chaos that has resulted from lockdowns and virtual workplace pajama parties. But one phrase does not work. It works against us.

For years and years professional speakers around the globe have declared that the pace of change is increasing. They are not wrong. Smart organizations embrace disruption and use it to drive necessary change and innovation. Top organizations cause the disruption.

We recognize that to remain viable, we must be resilient: Ready to detect, react and respond to our shifting environment. Resilience is the opposite of the corporate rigor mortis in many organizations bonded to the status quo. They are the Sears and Blockbusters of today.

Therefore, I urge you to stamp out the phrase “New Normal”. There is no new normal. There is only continuous adaptation.

People do need a sense of stability, but let’s not look for it in the work environment. Change is the norm and it never sits still. Stability comes in the form of constant striving to innovate and outperform, and constant focus on the future vision.

The next time you hear “new normal” consider how little we know about what comes next. Let’s strive towards resilience. I can show you how.

Thoughtfully yours,

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Jeff Skipper
Jeff Skipper is an expert in accelerating change. Clients such as Shell, Goldman Sachs and The Salvation Army have engaged him to achieve dramatic results during strategic transformation by wrapping complex change in motivating mission. He has been quoted in Fast Company, Forbes and HP’s enterprise.nxt. Jeff holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology and is a Certified Change Management Professional.