Learning Resilience in Change!


The start-up world celebrates experiments and failures as the fastest way to discover what actually works. It's high energy, collaborative, disruptive … and fun. Up to this point, we are in a high state of learning. But THEN you find something that seems to really work for you. Things are falling into place! However, we can easily get fixated on what's working. Whether we like it or not, the habits of high-speed learning fall away … and we lock onto the stability and safety of what works well.


This transition from experimentation to fixation will be your heartbreak, whether it's a brand, product, or a strategy that you are loving. In death (failure) there is rebirth though, and must be celebrated as much as we celebrated the "optimal" failures of early days.


If we keep the learning habits through the stable moments, then we will see those moments where a change is needed. So what are ways we can keep learning and stay resilient in the face of change, without succumbing to fear?


  1. Accept Chaos
    Even the most organised of change will have a dash of chaos. They are the inseparable twins simply because you cannot predict all the effects of the change. In fact, the more you clamp down and try to control, the more chaos will build. 
    Share the intent, trust the people, and stay grounded.
  2. Embrace Change
    We adore safety and stability! You know it's true :) So death to even the smallest strategy can feel disconcerting, even emotionally upsetting. However, today's workplace pace not only sees 
    huge changes, but also tiny daily changes. Every day, see what is working and identify what changes could take place.
  3. Take Pauses
    The death mentioned here is a positive transformational death … such as the caterpillar's cocoon. It's not hitting a crisis and imploding. It's simply slowing down, hibernating, and then death/transformation. However, it can be very hard to accept a change when it's our pet strategy, favourite process, or personal brand. 
    Reflect on what's working / not working, celebrate the failures, and extract the learning.
Dr. Marian Willeke
Dr. Marian Willeke


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