Discover 3 levels of resilience


Entdecke die drei Wirkebenen der Resilienz - Individuell, im Team und in der Organisation


Individually, as a team and in the organization


In the last few years, the topic of inner resilience has increasingly moved into the public focus: on the one hand, in children’s and youth education, and on the other hand, the topic is also taking up more and more space in adult education. Over time, the word resilience is becoming more and more popular.

The word ‘resilience’ or ‘resilire’ originally is Latin and means “to spring back, bounce off, rebound,” but also “to contract, shrink.” A related word, ‘resistere’, can be translated as “to resist”. In English, ‘resilient’ describes material properties such as ‘elastic’ or ‘indestructible’ and is used to describe the ability of a material to return to its former shape after being deformed by pressure or tension. The term therefore illustrates the tolerance of a system to internal or external failures. A resilient system can compensate for or endure irritations while maintaining its own integrity.

Resilience can be analyzed and considered not only at the individual level, but also at the team or organizational level. We would like to introduce you to these three levels of impact.

Impact level 1: How resilient are you? A look at individual resilience

Looking at the individual level, it focuses on the resilience of individuals. It is about the resources a person brings to the table and how they can grow to survive crises and challenges.

Resilience competence promotes people’s mental health. Because, those who are resilient are resistant and flexible. Resilient people are not easily thrown off course, remain calm and are capable of withstanding stress. But what are the concrete characteristics of resilient people?

  1. Opportunity thinkers: Resilient people are opportunity thinkers. They see change processes and crises as opportunities for change.
  2. Stress tolerance: Resilient people are more capable of withstanding stress. They can also cope with greater challenges. They are not so quickly overloaded and can also withstand pressure better.
  3. Serenity: Resilient people go through life with more serenity. Stressful and unchangeable situations are accepted. They also manage to draw clear boundaries to counteract overload.
  4. Flexibility: Resilient people are more flexible. They manage to deal with new conditions and sudden obstacles through cognitive flexibility.
  5. Emotional stability: Resilient people do not allow themselves to be thrown off course, even in the face of major setbacks. This is important for consistently pursuing plans and finding their way back to their own “path” in the event of setbacks.

We have developed a survey that helps people to reflect on their own resources in the 10 factors of resilience. In our certification for the persolog® Resilience Model, you will receive everything you need to support people in building their resilience competence.

Impact level 2: Strengthening the resilience of your team

When defining team resilience, a differentiation can be made between resources and processes. A resilient team recovers more quickly from crises or other challenges. It knows when resources don’t match requirements and can quickly adjust them. A resilient team is flexible and can react quickly to changes. In a team training, it can be worthwhile to reflect on the individual resilience of each member, but also on the organizational resilience together with the team. Through reflection and sharing, concrete ideas can be developed to increase the team’s resilience. Working with the Resilience Organizational Profile in this way can also develop a deeper understanding of the various factors that influence a company’s resilience. As a team, it is then possible to consider together how the team can contribute to organizational resilience.

Impact level 3: How can organizational resilience be developed?

The third impact level of resilience is organizational resilience. This looks at the resilience of a company.

But what factors determine how resilient a company is? A difficult question, which was also addressed by a group of experts from the International Organization for Standardization ISO. It has investigated, summarized, evaluated and condensed everything on the subject of organizational resilience. The result is the ISO standard “ISO 22317:2017 Security and resilience – Principles and attributes”.

Published in March 2017, this ISO standard provides a framework to help organizations future-proof their business by describing the key principles, attributes and activities, as well as the evaluation of resilience factors. The standard looks at the aspects that can strengthen resilience and adaptability in an organization.

The study identified 9 factors that make companies resilient: Living Vision and Goals, Strengthening Market Relationships, Empowering Leadership, Creating Culture, Sharing Knowledge, Securing Resources, Cooperating among Disciplines, Improving Continuously and Changing Proactively.

Each organization should find its individual response to complex challenges. Nevertheless, the ISO standard is a good guideline for the different approaches to make organizations more resilient. It provides specific recommendations for promoting organizational resilience in the nine areas of action or factors.

There is a direct dependency between the strength and effectiveness of each individual employee and the resilience of an organization overall. Therefore, both organizational resilience and the strengthening of resilience and flexibility of the people who make up the organization – at the individual level, as well as at the team level – are of great importance. The leader has a central role to play by fostering their own resilience, supporting the resilience of their employees and team, and focusing on the organization as a whole. No easy task – a systemic view is required.


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