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Module 3 Introduction. What is Organizational Resilience?

Module 3 Introduction. What is Organizational Resilience?
Any course on high-stakes leadership must in some way address the concept of resilience. So that’s what we’re going to explore during this module. Ultimately, business leaders simply cannot afford to think only about how they should deal with a raging crisis when it appears. Crisis management, as it’s described in both academic and popular literature, provides a great deal of guidance on how leaders should think, can behave, and lead during a crisis. Of course, this knowledge is critical to all high-stakes leaders. We’ll explore these concepts during our time together. But thinking only about leadership in the midst of a crisis, provides us with an incomplete picture of our responsibilities.
Are there things that we should be doing to prevent crises in the first place? Shouldn’t these activities be important instruments in our crisis leadership toolkit? Well, of course, they should. We need the tools and skills to guide our organization through a crisis, but we should also be taking related steps, I’ll argue in this module, to identify potential sources of disruption and address these issues well before they manifest themselves into full-blown crises. To become an effective high-stakes leader, is just as important that we understand how to prevent crises as it is to lead effectively during them. Similarly, is high-stakes leadership limited to preventing and if necessary, leading our teams through an active crisis.
What happens after a crisis has been effectively extinguished? Do our organizations simply return to business as usual or other opportunities for high-stakes leadership here as well? I’ll argue for the latter. Following a crisis, stakeholders will require continued attention and reassurance. Organizational processes will need review and changes will need to be made. Root causes of crises must be identified, examined, and addressed. There’s so much to be done after a crisis. Doesn’t it make sense to include these aspects of high-stakes leadership in our model? Yes, of course it does. At least that’s the argument that I will make during this module.
Organizational resilience is the framework that I will use to encompass the full spectrum of high-stakes leadership responsibilities from the crisis prevention processes and actions that leaders can take ahead of any crisis level event, to the actions leaders should be taking in the midst of a crisis, to the processes and actions leaders can take once the crisis has been largely controlled and the organization is focused on the most effective recovery possible. All three of these stages we will see, are equally important. So each deserves and will receive a good bit of our attention. In the following activities, we’re going to explore the three stages of organizational resilience. As we do so, we’re going to borrow heavily from the work of Dr.
Stephanie Ducheck, the Chair of General Business Administration at Brandenburg University of Technology in Cottbus, Germany. A significant product of her research, is a wonderfully complete description of the three stages we intend to explore. My goal in this module, is to leverage doctor due checks framework to help us not only fully understand the most important aspects of each stage, but also as a mechanism for sharing practical examples and recommended practices for each that can be put immediately into action at your organization. High-stakes leadership is about much more than being able to stand up and lead when a crisis appears.
Yes, this is often the most visible aspect of high-stakes leadership and it’s vitally important to our organizations that we have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to navigate this incredibly challenging environment. But high-stakes leaders, must also be able to provide tangible evidence of leadership well before and well after a crisis. Because of this, we’ll speak a resilience not simply as the ability to pick oneself up, wipe away the dust, and get back to business after we stumble. Now, resilience is a much broader concept, a claim we will explore in great detail throughout this module. Welcome to our exploration of organizational resilience. Let’s get started.
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High Stakes Leadership: Leading in Times of Crisis

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