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Companies in Lebanon are always praised for being resilient. While this is definitely a quality needed in our country and region, it brought with it a malicious side.
 

According the National Geographic, When faced with imminent danger or death, certain species of ducks will play dead. They freeze any movement, fake death and compress their body structure and temperature until they are out of danger. It’s called tonic immobility, and scientists think that the response is a defense mechanism. Unfortunately, it’s not a very good one: These death-feigning fowl are often eaten anyway.


 So let's imagine then what would happen when this danger last longer than the species had envisioned?

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Overcoming resilience side effects

Companies in Lebanon are always praised for being resilient. While this is definitely a quality needed in our country and region, it brought with it a malicious side.
 

According the National Geographic, When faced with imminent danger or death, certain species of ducks will play dead. They freeze any movement, fake death and compress their body structure and temperature until they are out of danger. It’s called tonic immobility, and scientists think that the response is a defense mechanism. Unfortunately, it’s not a very good one: These death-feigning fowl are often eaten anyway.


 So let's imagine then what would happen when this danger last longer than the species had envisioned?

As it is immobilized, it looses its reflexes for normal agility, mobility and exploration for food/growth as well as any sense of hope in surviving to the future. It focuses only on the short term.

 This is exactly the negative side of continuous resilience mode that practiced over a long period could plunge companies in a perpetual status quo that becomes the norm and fossilizes mindsets  even long after danger fades.

 

One of the main side effect is obviously loosing any sense of initiative that is new or unfamiliar as it will be considered a risk taking even if probability of success exceeds by far chances of failure. As failure is lived in our culture  as a weakness exposing self to danger of extermination rather as a training for fitness and prosperity over the mid to long term.

 

The point is that resilience without an alertness on its side effects and establishing a continuous exploration and agility drills and exercises is equally fatal as external threats to any organization.

 Practically top management need to stop using the political and economical downturn as an all out excuse to fossilize their organization and people and bring to a halt any sense of creative and uncharted initiative whether internal or externally induced.

 That is, to a substantial extent, why in my view our youth are emigrating. It's not all true that they do so because of lack of vacancies in our country. The truth is that they can't see themselves prospering and flourishing in a rigid and constantly tuned on short terms and overwhelming negative survival mindset work environment.

 One of the most frustrating and irritating facts is when established and high performing companies refuse upfront to embrace new ideas and suggestions brought to them by theprogressive thinkers and just want to do business as usual. The usual being few decades old! They claim being different yet they copy the familiar and safe in every aspects and at every level.

These companies have lost their childhood like sense of curiosity and exploration. They want to know and control the outcome of any initiative before they embark on the journey!

Why ? Fear that became their  driving force and second nature. The comfort of safety versus the thrill of new experience. This is where the call comes. Established companies have a duty, yes duty, to give new ideas and the people behind them a chance!

 They have to embrace them not fight them as without new blood and new thinking they would maybe survive but they won't create joy and excitement for our societies, families, customers and future generations and we will certainly drag behind other nations and markets.

Their duty is to be as much cautious on their values as much as progressive in trying new ways and new techniques for managing change and transformation from the old way to the new. Duty is to create R&D labs, innovation labs, ideas labs. bring talents on board to co-experiment together. Explore the latest techniques and technology that will ensure their healthy longevity, competence and prosperity for all stakeholders.

 What is the cost of trying and prototyping a new way of doing business compared  to the cost of missing the train of progress and differentiation. A question worth asking!

 

Joe Ayoub- Brandcell, Business design consulting.

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