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Last year I watched in horror as businesses small and large slowed down all over the country, some ticking over, some failing and others growing like never before as COVID 19 upended families, home schooling started and the realisation that we were locked at home for the foreseeable. But irrespective of prospects, we realised that we were on our own personal journey of survival.

And so, it began!

We all jumped on Zoom and Teams calls, not really knowing how to fully operate them, and set out on a journey of meeting after meeting in the home office, kitchen or somewhere else others weren’t!

Resilience in the workplace requires a positive psychology, pushing the barriers aside when everything is coming at you and above all, surviving to fight another day.

The country dipped and so did the majority of businesses, often through no fault of their own. When the economy shuts down, not every venture will survive, many factors come into play and not all of them can be overcome.

But in many cases, the difference between failure and survival is the mental resilience of the owners, managers and staff, not singularly but as a whole team: Call it corporate resilience. In retrospect, it is this that I have seen as the most direct indicator of how a company was going to come through this.

Directors paused, asking themselves what this new world would mean for their business and their existing business models.

How could they diversify, change, grow and gain traction, either to continue to follow their chosen path but often in a different way?

Adapt or die was the new reality. They armed their managers with tool kits, courses, and new pathways of working. Those that saw the direction of travel picked this up and ran with it, learning and adapting as they went.

Often, they connected with people in their organisation they had never worked with before, a new set of eyes, new perspectives.  Crucially there were no stupid suggestions just ideas to be explored.

The goal was not just to survive but to diversify with long term growth, for their jobs, their home, their company, their reputation.

If leaders didn’t know their managers well enough they sure would now, and managers their staff, they all worked harder than ever before, for a common goal.

I admire them all for breaking the mould, they stopped, re-evaluated, listened, changed and trusted in their pathway.

What have business owners learnt from the last 12 months? Belief. They believed in themselves, they believed in their team, they believed in their staff, not luck, or who they knew, or being in the right place at the right time.

Resilience is now a requirement. A tool to succeed. One clear vision.

Jo Vernon
Business Development Manager