This comes from Rory Sutherland who many believe is one of the sharpest people in marketing and a brilliant speaker.

He says that organisations have to think and build resilience – in simple terms the ability to bounce back from failure or adversity.

However, most companies fail to do so, since from a purely finance and P&L perspective, resilience is often wasteful. 

Finance mainly focuses on efficiency and profit maximisation as primary drivers of growth.

The only way out of this is to think in terms of ‘Prosilience’,

– Companies need to take failure or future adversity as a given. 

– They need to assume things will go south every five years or so.

The central hypothesis should always be that the market place will change, consumer preferences and choices will change, technology will change etc..

He gives an example of Bees, where the hive is always super focussed on extreme efficiency and a strong work ethic, the agenda is always to get the most nectar in the least amount of time.

However, within this same hive there are some bees who just wander around. 

They do no real work in terms of collecting nectar, but spend time aimlessly going from flower to flower patch, often exploring beyond the horizon.

And it may all seem rather wasteful from the perspective of the collective – the whole Hive (Other Bees may hate them, question their presence), until you understand that essentially these bees are exploring other avenues of growth (again collective, not individual).

They are operating out of three thoughts

1. What if this place (flower patch) runs out of nectar

2. What if all the nectar available here is destroyed – imagine grazing cattle eating up all the plants or humans burning the patch down to make a factory

3. What if there are other patches of flowers just beyond the horizon which are more rewarding (More nectar) – a jackpot.

So for all of us leading an organisation, unit or category – how are we building ‘prosilience’ within our product range or team. 

How do we take future adversity as a given and make that a part of our planning?

Who amongst us are the ‘explorer bees’ ensuring we can all bounce back from any adversity.

COVID (lockdown) has been a great example of how some companies were able to bounce back far faster or avoid the downfall completely, as compared to others who were equally large or successful but not as resilient.

No Comments

Post a Comment