#Resilience – Doing It On Purpose

resilience arch snap1

It’s amazing to me how many times we turn up to large, well known/important organisations to hear that they lack a clear aim. They can also confuse growth, profit and returns with ambition, value and meaning.

They have forgotten that growth and profit are the natural by-products of having a valuable intention – a purpose.

Without a valuable purpose who will follow the brand? Who will be motivated to help deliver the mission? How can the business operate more efficiently? Who would buy the products and services?

In most cases it seems the business has somehow forgotten its own sense of purpose. The business was clearly historically brilliant. it became a major ‘brand’. Now that very thing is the millstone around its neck. What goes wrong?

And in addition to having a clear purpose delivering it is paramount. So how many firms can honestly answer the following criteria – passing the test of what true strategy needs to include if it’s to deliver in this day and age?

The Dimensions Of #Resilience


The 5 Main Dimensions

1. Dynamic ConnectivityAre you connected to the world you operate in?

Dynamics – the most important influences for an organisation (internal and external). These are the genuine ‘forces’ that exist, not artificial barriers or current challenges. It is these dynamics that must connect to the ‘energy’ of the organisation.

Dynamics exist within and without us, they dictate all our actions and reactions as humans and as businesses alike. Our observation of how well we deal with them is the degree to which we are conscious in our dealings with them.

“Watch your thoughts, they become words; Watch your words, they become actions; Watch your actions, they become habits; Watch your habits, they become your character; and Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” – Mahatma Gandhi

All human energy is channelled by our thoughts. Unfortunately we are often guilty of not thinking. We are too often happy allowing the dynamics of our world to wash over us. Committing to thinking consciously is the raw ingredient of progress and value creation in life.

2. Organisational Energy – Do you know your business intimately enough to win?

Energy – the very essence of the organisation – its ‘DNA’. A high performing business is wholly dependent on knowing its core purpose and its identity – what it stands for and the values that should be driving behaviours.

Becoming And Remaining Relevant

Whether to their customers, to the industry, to their stakeholders or their workforce if the business doesn’t know itself and not meaningful then it will disappear. In this modern era this can happen very quickly indeed.

Each enterprise expresses its DNA and its ambitions and aspirations differently. Each one facing its own unique set of challenges. This translates into the enterprise really knowing itself and its capability. Just as knowing what the next big thing might be it means being ever ready to respond quickly when a new trend emerges or a new curve ball heads its way.

resilience arch snap53. Active Operation -Are you in control of the right things?

The Active Operation – the ‘stewardship’ of the enterprise. Organisations that operate as a system have the right balances of governance and process for people to thrive – to operate efficiently and effectively and make valuable contributions to the business.

An effective operational model that is designed to allow the system to function in the most effective manner, where authority sits in the right place and decisions can be made by people with the best insight into the situation.

This does not require complicated, bureaucratic processes, it requires shared principles and guidelines that allow the people who know the work to establish ways of working that will deliver the most value.

There will be a structure and there will be measurement – but only to create the most effective management and ownership of the various domains of knowledge.

4. Meaningful Information – Do you have all the facts you need?

Information with meaning – the way an organisation approaches one of its most valuable assets will drive the effectiveness of the system. This means that we need to understand what information is valuable and then how to best capture and organise it so that it can be leveraged. Data is at the heart of everything. The ability to truly understand and appreciate it within constantly shifting dynamics is wholly dependent on insight into patterns and trends.

Without quality data nothing can be approached with any meaning or value.

Data deserve much better treatment and care than most of us give it. It shouldn’t be something that gets addressed as an afterthought – given to the IT team to sort out. The whole organisation should be responsible for the maintenance of quality data and the idea of it should be embedded into everyone’s job.

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5. Business As A System – Do you think about the business as a living system?

The System – a holistic representation of the business, one that ignores the physical boundaries and artificial constraints and simply looks at what makes up the organisation in terms of its primary functions, contributions, assets and capabilities

A Definition Of Energy. For us energy is the momentum – the potential – the force that exists within us and thus the system. It conspires to make the world exist as the complex and ever changing living system that we know it to be. That creates the challenges and in turn the opportunity that exists for those that understand it – and becomes risk and fatal traps for those that don’t.

We are connected with each other and everything around us. We are entangled. We are the system. Everything we do, how we behave and how we think and feel is governed by the result of how we channel or understand that energy.

A shift in one part of a system creates an energy that builds an effect that causes shifts in the parts next to it and in turn they cause shifts in the parts next to them. And so it goes on.

The 8 Critical Parts Of The Approach.


We go through the following approach in every case. These are the terms of our engagement.

P1. COMMITMENT: For any programme to be successful there has to be genuine commitment to do what is necessary – to the degree that it is necessary

P2. PLAN: Based on our understanding of the Intention we will co-create a flexible, phased programme of work to realise it.

P3. STRUCTURE: In our programmes structure underpins everything. The critical data that defines the enterprise is shaped, organised and developed within the architectures that we develop

P4: BASELINE: The creation of a coherent contextualised map of the current environment against the structure established through P2.

P5: ENGINEER: The mastering of the complexity that exists within and around the organisation. An ongoing process that can start as soon as we have established the architecture

P6: CONGRUENCE: Achieving shared appreciation and understanding of the context and challenges – and aligning the enterprise around the primary Intention of the business

P7: DESIGN: Shaping the future through exploration and assessment of opportunities followed by co-creation of vision and strategy across all functions of the business

P8: SUSTAIN: Establishing operating models and ways of working that will make this a living process and system, with the appropriate capabilities in place to sustain a new way of working


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johncaswell @johncaswell
John Caswell  @johncaswell
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