Résilience Organisationnelle Mise à jour du site juin 2023
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Newsletter N°1 - English

Interview - Gilles TENEAU

Interview - Gilles TENEAU

Interview - Ran BHAMRA

Interview - Ran BHAMRA

PORTRAIT - Miguela Domingo Centeno

PORTRAIT - Miguela Domingo Centeno - Résilience Organisationnelle


Miguela Domingo Centeno holds a doctorate in educational sciences and philosophy and a doctorate in law from the Complutense University of Madrid. She also studied the philosophy of German idealism at the University of Münster (Westfallen, Germany), research methods and bioethics. As a university professor, Miguela Domingo Centeno is interested in therapeutic pedagogy and directs 4 certifying courses including 2 Masters. She was Dean of the Autonomous University of Madrid. Her initial research focuses on emotions, morals and ethics, which leads her to question emotional intelligence, the power of resilience in childhood and adolescence and the prevention of possible educational difficulties.


How have these issues led you to question resilience?


As part of my therapeutic pedagogy activities, I am in close contact with Generation Z (Gen Z) and their concerns about the present and the future. As a result, I observe on a daily basis a strong relationship of this youth to digital and social networks, with its dangers, but also shortcomings such as the culture of effort, corporate culture, loyalty, support, etc. I love this youth and I bet on it, but it also suffers from a little dehumanization: procedural behaviors, lack of empathy and awareness of other ways of seeing and thinking, etc.

Society made them selfish because previous generations, starting with mine, made their lives quite easy, gave them everything. Spanish youth are a little different from French youth because of the years of Franco's dictatorship that has long limited the evolution of morals at all levels of society: racism, xenophobia, homophobia, harassment, mockery about single-parent families are still frequent. This is still very prevalent in Spanish society. We still have to learn a lot. And, even though our government is left-wing, the most audible political trends in the public space are partly worrying.

Today, everything is resilience, we must all be resilient and this is presented in such a simple way… Resilience is actually very difficult to awaken within every human being. There are adverse circumstances that play a big role, people who can help, etc. Resilience is a complex topic.

I began to question resilience, first on my own because I had experienced difficult things that I tried to overcome. Through reading, I tried to heal myself. It is a process to change one's way of thinking towards what one has, what one holds, rather than focusing on what one has lost. We can mourn what we have lost. German idealism has allowed me to transform these personal questions about resilience into a deeper understanding of what resilience is, how to teach someone resilience.

I've been in university since I was 18. I work there and I also learn a lot from youth, from Generation Z. They, too, teach us a lot. The idea is not to overcome adversity by saying "I am resilient!" Adversity comes to you and by making myself social, I go up the slope. You may need professionals to get out of the rut that has stuck your way. Resilience should be studied a little more through a human lens.


For you, is resilience linked to particular skills or circumstances?


I defer to Rousseau's proposal: "Man is good by nature." But then society integrates it and things get complicated because it is not a happy world. Life makes you suffer because you are in particular socio-economic circumstances, because you are harassed, because you are different from others (fat, with glasses, etc.), because you do not identify with your body, etc. This is in line with Hobbes' proposal: "Man is a wolf to man".

Life is hard and not very simple. The problem of Gen Z is their lack of a culture of effort because these young people have not realized that all life is not made and that they have to do it. However, they arrive in their twenties and do not know how to do it! In my vision of resilience, help, the outstretched hand is therefore all the more necessary. In Equatorial Guinea where I worked on teaching and faculty training programs, I also helped orphanages and especially young people who wanted to learn to read and write. In general, I feel committed on a human level, with animals, the environment, etc. And it is this commitment that seems to me necessary to achieve resilience.


What is organizational resilience for you?


Organizational resilience has to do with the leaders of organizations. It is not so much the question of the charisma of the leaders that is important here, but the fact that they are surrounded by a loyal team, a team that accompanies them, that the leader protects. For me, there is no organizational resilience in a very hierarchical society. In pyramid organizations, it is rare for a superior to consider himself the equal of his collaborator. It's like Cronos syndrome: leaders are afraid that one of their competent subordinates will take their place. This is a little less the case in the civil service but within the university, private companies in Spain, it is very difficult.

At my level, I think I am a resilient person in the environment of my class, with my colleagues. However, at the level of the university, the company, etc., there is no organizational resilience because there are individual fears, for lack of flexibility at this scale, etc. There is a fundamental theme today: the promotion of mediocrity. Today, however, high positions are partly held by people who are incompetent to take charge of them. I worked 8 years as Dean and I left my health there trying to understand what those above me were doing. There is not a team that does not say it is ready to reform the system but we have more and more situations of school failure, bullying, the level is very low, the organic laws for education change according to political colors, etc.

 There could be organizational resilience at the level of a classroom, a court, etc. But at a general level, at the macro-systemic level, these are isolated groups and can still have problems. You make your microsystem with your teams but afterwards, the Leviathan of society will not let you go further. You can do this in small groups on small projects or themes, but not at the general level. If you try to go beyond that, you run up against the established order and put yourself in trouble. Finally, for small groups to achieve resilience, it is a fight against titans, like Don Quixote in front of his windmills! There are times when you get tired and give up because your mental health is at stake too. Resilience is a beautiful and incredible concept, but it comes at a price: the energy of its wearers. In this sense, it is also linked to care concept.

Publications & books

Linda Holbeche, proposes a key to maintaining a competitive edge in a volatile business world is agility. This book shows how to develop the adaptability of the entire organisation. Charles, F. Redinger. offers a practical roadmap for creating a risk management platform that incorporates leading-edge standards, improves decision-making and increases organisational resilience. George S. Everly Jr. and Amy B. Athey discuss leading beyond crisis by proposing the five pillars of transformative and resilient leadership. Elmar Kutsch provides a guide to navigating the paradoxical tensions of organisational resilience and presents a framework for helping individuals and companies become more open-minded. For PMI, some organisations have resilience in their DNA. They have the agility of mind, culture and organisation to survive and thrive, no matter what comes their way. Diana Larsen and Tricia Broderick's analysis of work practices shows that blame stifles creativity, reduces productivity and limits psychological safety. By facilitating blame-free retrospective meetings, leaders chart a productive path forward. After applying these strategies, learning leaders will help their teams and themselves become more resilient. For Paul Thallner, companies that expect their employees to be more resilient are missing the point. Companies need to evolve and grow so that workers do not have to bounce around all the time. Dennis R. Young, Elizabeth A.M. Searing, examines how nonprofit organisations can prepare for and respond to serious threats, such as pandemics, economic recessions, terrorist attacks and other potentially catastrophic events.

Summary of the works proposed in this list

Linda Holbeche, The Agile Organization: How to Build an Engaged, Innovative and Resilient Business, Kogan Page Ltd, 2023.

The key to retaining competitive advantage in a volatile business world is agility. The third edition of The Agile Organization shows how to develop capabilities across the organization to adapt. With helpful checklists, tips and advice, this is a practical blueprint to building both agility and resilience at individual, team and organizational levels. It covers how to design agile organizations as well as how to implement agile models into existing organizations and people practices. There is guidance on how agility can be applied to talent management, flexible working patterns and the importance of mobilizing and energizing employees for change.

Charles, F. Redinger. Organizational Risk Management: A Practical Guide for Environmental, Health, Safety, and Sustainability Ehs/S Professionals, and Their C-suites. Wiley-Blackwell. 2023.

A hands-on roadmap to creating a risk management platform that integrates leading standards, improves decision-making, and increases organizational resilience. Organizational Risk Management delivers an incisive and practical method for the development, implementation, and maintenance of an integrated risk management system (RMS) that is integrated with ISO 31000:2018, ISO's high-level management system structure (HLS), and COSO's ERM. The book explains how organizational risk management offers a platform and process through which organizational values and culture can be evaluated and reevaluated, which encourages positive organizational change, value creation, and increases in resilience and fulfilment. Readers will find an approach to risk management that involves the latest advances in cognitive and organizational science, as well as institutional theory, and that generates a culture of health and learning.

George S. Everly Jr et Amy B. Athey. Leading Beyond Crisis: The Five Pillars of Transformative Resilient Leadership. ‎ American Psychological Association. 2023

It's hard enough to lead in good times. It's even harder to lead in a crisis. This book teaches the art and science of transformative resilient leadership, a unique leadership style that focusses on spotting the opportunities that emerge from times of adversity, and leverages them to foster resilience and growth. With over 70 years of combined experience training leaders in business, military, sports, and other high-pressure settings, psychologists George S. Everly, Jr., and Amy B. Athey have garnered unparalleled insight into how the best leaders navigate the worst. This book distills their wisdom into practical, reader-friendly chapters and profiles leaders from classical and modern history who demonstrate the five pillars of transformative resilient leadership.

Elmar Kutsch. Organisational Resilience: Navigating Paradoxical Tensions. Routledge. 2022.

This book provides a guide to navigating the paradoxical tensions of organisational resilience and presents a framework to aid individuals and businesses to become more open-minded, flexible and mindful in managing the unexpected and anticipating crises. The book offers the reader pragmatic and insightful means to achieve a 'state' of organisational resilience, making use of current research data that shows how managers plan for and respond to actual and near-miss incidents. Grounded in the day-to-day reality of managers, the goal of this book is to offer a unique theoretical framework as a platform for practical application for the improvement of organisational outcomes. It provides insights into ten key capabilities that enable the reader to set up a successful program of organisational resilience, taking a cross-cutting approach and focusing on implementation while having solid foundations in theory.

PMI. Building Resilient Organizations: Best Practices, Tools and Insights to Thrive in Ever-changing Contexts. Project Management Institute. 2022.

In our tumultuous times, understanding and achieving resilience have never been more important. Some organizations have resilience in their DNA. They possess the agility of mind, culture, and organization to survive and thrive no matter what is put in their way. Building Resilient Organizations is focused on identifying what sets these enterprises apart, exploring the nature of resilience for organizations. Along the way, we discover some inspiring global examples of resilient projects in practice and some novel thinking for leaders to consider about what it takes to be resilient over the long haul. With contributions from leading thinkers and practitioners from throughout the world, Building Resilient Organizations will enable you and your organization to further develop resilience as a muscle in your organization

Diana Larsen et Tricia Broderick. Lead without Blame: Building Resilient Learning Teams. ‎ Berrett-Koehler Publishers. 2022.

Workplace finger-pointing stifles creativity, reduces productivity, and limits psychological safety. Although no one sets out to be judgmental, learning new habits is hard. By facilitating blame-free retrospective meetings, leaders chart a productive path forward. They amplify three essential motivators of purpose, autonomy, and co-intelligence within their team. Layered on with four resilience factors: inclusive collaboration, transparent power dynamics, collaborative learning, and embracing conflict. After applying these strategies, learning leaders will help their teams and themselves become more resilient and better equipped to handle any unexpected and challenging tasks that comes their way.

Paul Thallner. Reinventing Resilience: How organizations move beyond setbacks to grow through challenges. New Degree Press. 2022.

Workplace stress is killing us. Organizations that expect workers to be more resilient are missing the point. Companies need to evolve and grow so workers aren't forced to continually bounce back. Paul Thallner explains how resilience is broken and how conventional thinking about resilience is outdated and deficit-based. It provides a deep dive into a new resilience model with step-by-step guidance for organizations to build resilience, create great work cultures, and become magnetic employers of choice for all.

Dennis R. Young, Elizabeth A.M. Searing. Resilience and the Management of Nonprofit Organizations : A New Paradigm. Edward Elgar Publishing. 2022.

This timely book examines how nonprofits can prepare for and respond to serious threats, such as pandemics, economic recessions, terrorist attacks and other potentially catastrophic events. Reliant on donors, regulators, government funders and dedicated staff and volunteers, nonprofits are often vulnerable and unprepared to navigate such crises. Making a frank assessment of the risks these organizations face and how to enable them to become more resilient, Dennis Young and Elizabeth Searing develop multifaceted strategies involving balance sheets, cost and income structures, human resources, networks, technology, entrepreneurship, and information systems. Practical recommendations based on research are offered to managers for assessing risk and developing resilience strategies appropriate to their own organizations. The innovative use of templates for executive briefings, dashboards, and stress tests are included in a new management paradigm for building healthier and more effective nonprofit organizations for the future.