In Times of Polycrisis, Being Resilient Means Embracing Changes

by German Vargas Pedroza

Planning is always very important, because it helps to project the future in an orderly manner and make well-defined decisions, it determines the course of actions and generates commitment and motivation, efficiency, and productivity; but it is also crucial and essential to know the chaos that arises from the unforeseen and the uncontrolled. Even with excellent planning and great efforts to achieve them, there will always be emerging risks and surprises will arise and the ecosystem and our environment will possibly throw us situations or conditions that could feasibly go wrong, possibly impact us significantly and in extreme cases put the survival of our organization at risk.

Instead of fearing, acting impulsively, taking a defensive attitude or resisting the multiple concurrent and interrelated crisis situations, now called: Polycrisis, as expressed in the Annual Report on Global Risks 2023, released by the World Economic Forum -WEF-, recently presented in Davos, Switzerland, the strategy and attitude should be to embrace change, and develop in ourselves and in leaders the skills to manage and help teams adapt and innovate in a world of constant and rapid evolution.

The multiple situations arising from abrupt changes, very complex and interconnected, characterize difficult to control conditions with high levels of uncertainty and instability that threaten the existence of an organization or system.

Now from the perspective of the Polycrisis, seen as the confluence of a multitude of real crises that significantly affect us, we are moving to the new conception of permanent changes in the environment with interrelated crises.

The polycrisis must be attacked with a global vision and breadth, supporting each other, and joining efforts on various fronts and disciplines, considering the complexity and uncertainty of multiple problems that affect us simultaneously from different scenarios. Given these frequent changes that occur simultaneously, survival and success are directly related to how we respond to these challenges.

Frequently the opportunities offered to us are not sufficiently taken advantage of; but if they are given a proper reading, changes, even crisis situations, can generate new possibilities and alternatives for us.

Many people, when seeing a feasibility of entrepreneurship or creation of a new alternative, convince themselves and others that despite being potentially “attractive”, it should not be carried out, arguing a series of difficulties, or even listing the drawbacks that can be had, without further analysis, generating their own obstacles and barriers, and then reject the opportunity that the situation is providing and get caught in their comfort zone. This is a frequent way of killing creativity and innovation, halting progress, and remaining trapped in the current situation, until perpetuating itself in time, with no prospective horizons for the future.

It is not that it is wrong to review the possible adversities, causes and effects to be faced, of course it must be done; The issue here is to identify and manage risks, carry out a good prior assessment of opportunities, measure the feasibility of success in a real way, and based on information analyzed and evaluated, then whether to proceed to dismiss or start a new initiative.

Each new project (or idea, challenge, or impulse) represents a moment in time, and perhaps if it is let pass or postponed, the opportunity will no longer be waiting. Our competitors will have taken the initiative before us, and we will be left behind with a considerable disadvantage compared to those who are more advanced. On the contrary, it would be appropriate to have an open, more positive attitude, which activates a trigger for actions and situations that allow everything to move forward constructively.

This determines a change of mentality and thus achieve that we obtain a better version of ourselves, make greater use of our emotional intelligence to act in a Polycrisis situation and not be overwhelmed by the fear that typically leads to the paralysis and inactivity of any type of venture.

The proposal is to evolve towards having a positive mentality and energy, open creativity, be willing to fail and learn from failed attempts to build; that it does not mean that risks are minimized or stopped being treated; it means that the fear of failure and the fear of the new do not undermine the possibility of growth.

To address them effectively, the new investment must be supported by human talent prone to innovation and novel and even disruptive ventures, which require support in data analysis, to determine descriptive behaviors of multiple variables, so that, based on them, decisions can be made supported by predictive and prescriptive analytics. This is how the use and application of new technologies becomes fundamental to address the challenges that they impose.

So, adaptation and resurgence in the face of adversity is necessary to resist, be better and prosper, fundamental principles of Organizational Resilience, applicable even to the personal level to overcome the difficulties of our own lives.

So, adaptation and resurgence in the face of adversity is necessary to resist, be better and prosper. These aspects are the fundamental principles of Organizational Resilience, which can also be applied on a personal level to overcome the difficulties of our own lives.