What is resilience? Based on a great deal of research and observation of people going through change, we have identified a set of characteristics that help people use their adaptation energy more effectively. Think of these characteristics as “change muscles.” We believe that everyone has the ability to apply and develop each one. Just as certain physical muscles are stronger in some people than others, people differ in the strength of their resilience muscles. And, just as regular exercise will strengthen physical muscles, so resilience muscles can be strengthened through practice. When a change muscle is weak, it can certainly still be used, but the person must apply more effort to get the same result as a person who has developed greater strength in that area.

Our work focuses on seven resilience characteristics:

  1. Positive: The World Resilient individuals effectively identify opportunities in turbulent environments.
  2. Positive: Yourself Resilient individuals have the personal confidence to believe they can succeed in the face of uncertainty.
  3. Focused Resilient individuals have a clear vision of what they want to achieve and use this as a guide when they become disoriented.
  4. Flexible: Thoughts Resilient individuals generate a wide range of ideas and approaches for responding to change.
  5. Flexible: Social Resilient individuals draw readily on others’ resources for assistance and support during change.
  6. Organized Resilient individuals effectively develop and apply systems, processes, and structures when dealing with change.
  7. Proactive Resilient individuals initiate action in the face of uncertainty, taking calculated risks rather than seeking the comfort of the status quo.