October 11, 2023 – Approximate Read Time: ~3 minutes
Image by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com
This week we are still taking a few breaths as we reflect on how we’ve changed things up during our 10th birthday year. Last week, we mentioned the change in the name of our newsletter and our upcoming move to Substack (be sure to get ahead of the move and subscribe now to Change It Up! on Substack). We also highlighted our new podcast about civil conversation, Getting to Third Space with Lamar & Tom (a new episode is in the works and will be posted soon). Finally, we also noted that this year marked our first year back on the road again since the start of the pandemic.
This week we want to focus on an important change in our philosophy of work with organizations and communities. Actually, it wasn’t so much a shift as it was acknowledging the shift that has been incrementally taking place over the past several years.
Focus on Resilience
Over the past few years, we’ve been moving toward a focus on strengthening the resilience capacity of organizations. The need for that shift in focus became clear as we watched the COVID-19 pandemic unfold and observed how organizations responded to it. We take our definition of resilience from Denyer (2017): The ability to anticipate, prepare for, and respond and adapt to incremental change and sudden disruptions.
Inspired by Denyer’s (2017) work, our response was to create The Resilience Practice Mix. Organizations, groups, and communities become resilient as they regularly engage in four practices:
Looking Back: To understand better what they’ve been doing and how well they have done it.
Looking Ahead: To see and forecast both the risks and opportunities that lie before them.
Minding: Being attentive to what is happening in the present and determining how to respond.
Responding: Taking intentional action to respond according to their best understanding in the moment.
This mix of practices creates an organization, group, or community that is well positioned to manage the negative challenges of incremental change or sudden disruption and to take advantage of the positive opportunities which arise. This positioning is the result of becoming more resilient.
We’ve developed a number of strategies to help groups engage in the practices. In a couple of weeks, we’re going to begin a multipart series that takes a closer look at each of these practices and the strategies from Tenacious Change.
Denyer, D. (2017). Organizational Resilience: A summary of academic evidence, business insights and new thinking. BSI and Cranfield School of Management.
Well-Being in Rural Communities
Last week, October 3-6, Tom Klaus participated in the annual grantee meeting of the Well-Being in Rural Communities project. We love this project for its clear and important emphasis on an issue that is so important in rural America.
The BHOLD planning team created a warm and inviting space for grantees to connect, share and learn together. Tom led two plenary workshops (which we are considering turning into on-demand video webinars soon) and then met twice with each of the grantees for coaching and conversation. Each of the grantees also provided updates to the group on their project, sharing both challenges and successes. In addition to all this, the BHOLD planning team made sure the group got to experience the best of South Texas – Tex/Mex food and mariachi music on a local ranch, barbeque, visits to local historic sites, and a traditional Mexican cooking demonstration of Pan de Campo (with fresh samples!) from Lucy Garza, author of the South Texas Mexican Cookbook. (See page 60 for the recipe!)
Kudos to the planning team for a well-organized, outstanding event and to Rick Ybarra and Tammy Heinz of the Hogg Foundation for an innovative vision to support well-being in rural communities!
In each episode, Lamar and Tom carve out a Third Space where everything can be on the table for open, straightforward, honest, and, yet kind and respectful, inquiry. Getting to Third Space with Lamar & Tomis now available on four podcast platforms: Spotify, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube Podcasts (if you want to watch them do the podcast).
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