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Strengthening Resilience Means Strengthening Companies

The Steinbeis+Academie runs training courses to become a resilience coach/resilience mentor

“A crisis is a productive state. You simply have to get rid of its aftertaste of catastrophe.” These are the words of Max Frisch and they’re more relevant today than they have ever been. Although a crisis poses threats, it can also be an opportunity; but having the ability to understand this concept – and make good of it – takes resilience. But there’s also good news. Anyone can learn resilience and become more resilient in the areas that matter most. Companies also stand to benefit from this, because people are their most important assets. It is against this background that competence institute unisono, a Steinbeis Transfer Institute of the Steinbeis+Academie, offers training to become a resilience coach/resilience mentor with the aim of promoting both personal and corporate resilience.

Spread over 21 days during the course of a year, the focus of training lies in both the personal development of individual course participants and the transfer of knowledge and methodologies. This provides everything a firm needs to strengthen its employees in the long term through the input of a resilience coach/mentor. The training culminates in a Diploma of Advanced Studies at the Steinbeis+Akademie.

Resilience – a cornerstone of crisis management

Whether a crisis is exploited as an opportunity to develop and move forward, or is perceived as an event of cataclysmic proportions, depends on the individual resilience of those affected. The qualities of resilience – such as openness, flexibility, positive thinking, focusing on outcomes, and being able to access personal resourcefulness without hindrance – lay a foundation for making constructive use of a crisis. Such qualities not only strengthen the resilience of the individual, they have a similar ability to bolster resilience within organizations.

Organizational resilience comprises aspects such as IT redundancy and up-to-date crisis management plans. In March 2017, the International Standardization Organization (ISO) adopted a standard for organizational resilience. This now serves as a basis for implementing and evaluating the crisis resilience of an organization and its ability to adapt. Crucial aspects of company resilience affect its employees, however: Just like personal development in HR, resilient corporate cultures and self-learning organizational development revolve around people. The more resilient the individual employee, the more adaptable and creative teams are – and ultimately this applies to the overall company. It is precisely these qualities that help maintain a positive outlook during a crisis, leading companies forward in a progressive sense in times of digitalization.

It’s not over yet, and more may come – if it hasn’t already

That’s exactly how it feels right now – we’re living from one crisis to another as if we’re continuously stuck in the next crisis. This places tremendous demands on people to adapt. Absenteeism, i.e. the number of sick days at a company, is already an indication of the number of times employees have to take time off work. The opposite – presenteeism – poses another big challenge to companies, because employees still come to work despite feeling unwell. Symptoms on a variety of levels – from insomnia to headaches caused by stress, anxiety, panic attacks, and addictive behavior – prevent people from making good use of personal resources, assuming they are not already depleted. People may still show up to work every day, but if they’re not feeling well, they can tap into no more than 70% of the energy they require to do their jobs.

The emergency outpatient clinic

This is where a resilience coach/mentor can help companies by helping people who still show up for work every day despite feeling anything like fit and healthy in mental terms. Mentors regularly exchange ideas with the HR department in the area of personal development and occupational health management. They also offer made-to-measure services to staff and can organize coaching sessions to motivate people to reflect more about themselves and work on their behavior.

Step by step, this allows every individual and team – and thus the entire company – to adopt a healthy and open attitude, to become more adaptable, and to think more creatively. Adopting a positive attitude to things strengthens productivity in times of crisis. It is even possible for hidden strengths – hitherto unknown, because they were unneeded – to surface, also making individuals and the company resilient to emerging crises from within.

Coaches and mentors accompany employees in unearthing inner growth and mental strength. It is a tense time for labor markets and the shortage of skilled workers has now reached all sectors of industry. A sustainable concept in keeping with regenerative leadership is to work with what we do have access to, to protect what we do have, and to rebuild what is already there. Resilience should be a thread of continuity that forms the backbone of a company.

For further information and course registration, go to: www.sti-kiu.com/resilienz-coach


Susanne Hollmann (author)
Business trainer
Systemischer Coach (Ulm)

Peter Schust
Steinbeis Entrepreneur
Steinbeis Transfer Institute competence institute unisono (Ulm)