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Podcast: Building Resilience

Rehearsing for Change 

Liisa Välikangas on Building Resilience

  • Can you envision "Zero Trauma Transformation" for your organization?
  • How and when would you engage in deep change, without the need to do so?
  • Once successful, how do you avoid the "Resilience Paradox"? 
Liisa Välikangas, professor of Innovation Management & Leadership at the Technical University of Denmark. This time, our resilience quest, is to learn to run before the lion starts chasing us and to do so with as little pain as possible. The journey is not predefined and there is no magic wand. So, we will talk about:
  • Rehearsal for change
  • Building cognitive flexibility
  • Scenarios and experimentation
  • Courage and serendipity

Jesters, the Resilience Paradox, and the ideal “Zero Trauma Transformation” are also part of the discussion.

Watch the 9th Video in the Building Resilience Series

Building Resilience: Climate Change, Complex Systems, Resilience 

Roland Kupers on Building Resilience

  • Is there more to Autonomous Vehicles than a transportation solution?
  • How does this innovation affect Systemic, Societal Change?
  • And what does resilience have to do with all this? 

Roland Kupers is going to take us on a captivating journey of climate change, complex systems and their resilience. Roland Kupers is a theoretical physicist by university training and he has spent the first 20+ years of his career working for major corporations. Since 2011, he is acting as an advisor for Cities, NGOs, Think Tanks, Corporations and Government on topics related to Energy Transition, Complexity and Resilience.

He has published widely, including in HBR, on Project Syndicate and co-authored:

  • The Essence of Scenarios – Learning from the Shell Experience (with A. Wilkinson – Amsterdam 2014) 
  • Complexity and the Art of Public Policy (with D. Colander – Princeton 2014) 
  • A Climate Policy Revolution (Harvard 2020) 

Roland was a co-author of a report commissioned by the German Government on a New Growth Path for Europe. In 2013 he was the Director for the inception phase of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.

Watch the 8th Video in the Building Resilience Series

A Practical Framework for Organizational Resilience 

Heidi Askin (Bel) on Building Resilience 

  • Are there facets to Organizational Resilience?
  • Can we learn how to proactively adapt to sudden changes? 
The answer is YES! And there is a Framework, a Tool and a Methodology to do so!

Heidi Askin, the Director of Culture and Transformation at Bel, an INSEAD EMBA graduate and a passionate of Resilience and Complexity Science. Heidi set out to study Organization Resilience a few years ago and her research led to:

  • A framework of Organizational Resilience 
  • A description of the 8 axes on which Organizational Resilience can be built (inclusive of strategic, operational, social and human components)
  • The concrete factors that can be used to assess the current level of resilience 

All of these, including a case study, will be discussed in the episode. We hope this will provide a useful, practical tool to start building your Organizational Resilience today!

For those interested in reaching out to Heidi:

Watch the 7th Video in the Building Resilience Series

Building Resilience: What Makes People & Organizations Resilient? 

Huggy Rao (Stanford BSG) on Building Resilience 

Today we are looking through the lenses of sociology and psychology to answer two questions:

  1. How can organizational culture act as a shock absorber & help companies rebound from shocks
  2. What makes individuals resilient? 
Together with Huggy Rao, Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources at Stanford Graduate School of Business, we will:
  • Take a trip through the history of global crises and natural disasters to collect lessons learned;
  • Touch on the implications of such adversities on the Economy, but also on topics like Immigration Reforms and Diversity & Inclusion activities.
  • Discuss how "cultural protections" enable people and organizations respond to shocks
  • Provide examples on how to activate the "best self" in each individual and how this will lead to increased resilience 
  • Emphasise the need to move from "a room called fear" to a "room called hope" for both individuals and organizations
  • Moving away from Planning towards building the CARE-SHARE-DARE muscle in Organizations

Professor Rao studies collective action within organizations and in markets. His research and by implication, his teaching, revolves around scaling up mobilization, innovation, and talent in organizations.

His most recent book, co-authored with Bob Sutton of the School of Engineering at Stanford, is "Scaling Up Excellence". The book is a Wall Street Journal Best seller, and was included in the best business books to read in 2014 by Financial Times, Inc Magazine, Amazon, Forbes, Washington Post and the Library Journal.

His research has been published in journals such as the Administrative Science Quarterly, American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science and Strategic Management Journal. He is also the author of “Market Rebels: How Activists Make or Break Radical Innovation”, Princeton University Press. 2009.

Watch the 6th Video in the Building Resilience Series

The Secret to Resilience: Curiosity & Creativity - Agastya International 

Ramji Raghavan & Phanish Puranam on Building Resilience

Ordinary people achieving the extraordinary! This is an inspiring story showing how curiosity can be the spark for systemic educational transformation. Agastya International Foundation has started an educational movement in India driven by a "simple" mission - educating children by fuelling their curiosity and creativity.

In 2020, through extreme conditions, they not only managed to reach the 15 million children in remote villages, but they managed to bring education to a different level. Seemingly ordinary people, a great deal of personal initiative, passion for their calling, care, friendship and true leadership - have transformed an organization into a movement.

This is a must watch episode of the Building Resilience series hosting:

  • Ramji Raghavan - Founder and Chairman of Agastya International Foundation 
  • Phanish Puranam - Professor of Strategy and Organizational Design at INSEAD

To work with and learn more about Agastya International Foundation visit:​

Watch the 5th Video in the Building Resilience Series

Organizational Resilience through Evolutionary Lenses

Daniel Levinthal on Building Resilience

  1. Is today’s cleverness good enough for tomorrow’s crisis?
  2. What can we learn from evolutionary biology to drive organizational resilience?
  3. Will remote work become a bottleneck for innovative exploration?
  4. What are the powers of experimentation and pivoting in complex systems?
  5. How does a mindset of skepticism and renewal keep us resilient? 

This episode brings on an eye-opening discussion that will give you the opportunity to reflect on our organizations from a different angle than you have done before – that of a complex living system.

Today's guest is Daniel Levinthal - Professor of Corporate Strategy at Wharton School – the University of Pennsylvania and one of the most prominent management scholars.

His research has been pivotal and answered questions of organizational adaptation and industry evolution, particularly in the context of technological change. His papers remain some of the highest cited papers in management and social sciences in general.

Watch the 4th video in the Building Resilience Series

Resilience Mindset and The New Normal

Costas Markides on Building Resilience

We keep hearing the phrase: “this is the new normal” and the subsequent question – is your organization ready to face it?

  1. But what is this new normal and what should we be prepared for?
  2. What is the mindset that will make us resilient in this new world of unprecedented disruptions?
  3. How should we deal with the increasing complexity of your organization and its environment?
  4. How do we motivate our people to fight multiple, consecutive, and even overlapping fights at our side?

Costas Markides, the Chair of Strategic Leadership at London Business School is recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts on strategy and innovation. His work explores how companies can create a culture of continuous innovation and the role that individual managers play in making a company more innovative. His forthcoming book – Organizing for the New Normal – explores the question: “How do you prepare the organization to respond to continuous and overlapping disruptions or one disruption after another in a short period of time?”

Watch the 3rd Video in the Building Resilience Series

Resilience through Experimentation

Rejshree Agarwal & Constance Helfat on Building Resilience

What happens when multiple shocks hit us? Have we reflected on 2020 and what have we learned? Have we identified the cracks in our systems? How can we enable ourselves to be better prepared for the next crisis?

By acknowledging that:

  • Uncertainty and complexity are states of nature.
  • We will never have full knowledge.
  • There are no templates to tell us exactly what to do.
  • We will always make mistakes,

We allow ourselves to experiment, place early bets, fail fast, and try again. We will acquire the missing information. We will figure out where the holes are and will be able to think ahead. 

Rajshree Argarwal is the Rudolph Lamone Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy and Director of the Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets at the University of Maryland. Rajshree studies the evolution of industries, firms, and individual careers, as fostered by the twin engines of innovation and enterprise. 

Rajshree’s scholarship uses an interdisciplinary lens to provide insights on strategic innovation for new venture creation and for firm renewal. She routinely publishes in leading journals in strategy and entrepreneurship. An author of more than 60 studies, her research has been cited more than 10,000 times, received numerous best paper awards, and funded by grants from various foundations, including the Kauffman Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. She is currently the co-editor of the Strategic Management Journal and has previously served in co-editor and senior editor roles at Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal and Organization Science respectively.

Rajshree is a senior contributor at Forbes, providing insights for leading purposeful lives, strategy, and innovation. She has been featured in major media outlets including the Washington Post, USA Today, Time, and the Baltimore Sun, and has appeared in several video interviews and podcasts. Her op-eds have had over 100,000 reads, and her conversation with David Rubin on “The Rubin Report” drew approximately 25,000 views. Agarwal’s ability to put complex thoughts into clear terms led one media outlet to describe her as “an economist who makes things understandable.”

Constance Helfat is the J. Brian Quinn Professor in Technology and Strategy and Senior Associate Dean for Research Innovation at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Professor Helfat’s research focuses on strategic change, with an emphasis on firm capabilities, technological innovation, and top executives.

Professor Helfat’s research focuses on strategic change, with an emphasis on firm capabilities, technological innovation, and top executives.

She has published widely in leading academic journals and has written and edited three academic books. Professor Helfat is a Fellow of the Strategic Management Society, received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Technology and Innovation Management Division of the Academy of Management, is a Foundations Scholar of the Knowledge and Innovation Interest Group of the Strategic Management Society, and was awarded the Viipuri Prize for outstanding achievements in strategy research and an honorary doctorate from the Lappeenranta University of Technology.

She is currently a co-editor of the Strategic Management Journal and has served in editorial roles at Management Science and Organization Science. She also serves on the editorial boards of other academic journals.

Watch the 2nd Video in the Building Resilience Series

The Anchor for Thriving Organizations: Purpose

Ranjay Gulati on Building Resilience 

Purpose-driven organizations thrive! Purpose & culture are anchors. They provide a stable platform from which organizations can drive strategic and structural change and successfully face adversities.

  • What is Organizational Resilience? 
  • What are thriving organizations doing differently? 
  • How can we activate purpose in organizations? 
  • What are the enables of resilience? 
  • How do we connect individual and organizational purpose and resilience? 
  • Thriving through the 2020 crisis 
  • Courage as an enable of resilience. 

These are all questions that Professor Ranjay Gulati will answer in the 1st episode of the new Building Resilience series. Ranjay Gulati is the Paul R. Lawrence MBA Class of 1942 Professor of Business Administration and the former Unit Head of the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School. He is an expert on leadership, strategy, and organizational issues in firms.

Professor Gulati was ranked as one of the top ten most cited scholars in Economics and Business over a decade by ISI-Incite. The Economist, Financial Times, and The Economist Intelligence Unit have listed him as among the top handful of business school scholars whose work is most relevant to management practice. He has been a Harvard MacArthur Fellow and a Sloan Foundation Fellow. His research has been published in leading journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Harvard Business Review, American Journal of Sociology, Strategic Management Journal, Sloan Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, and Organization Science. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, strategy + business, and the Financial Times.

Professor Gulati sits on the editorial board of several leading journals and was a co-editor of a special issue of the Strategic Management Journal on Alliances and Strategic Networks in 2000 and another special issue on Organizational Architecture that appeared in 2012. He also guest-edited a special issue of the Academy of Management Journal on Relational Pluralism in 2014.

Watch the 1st Video in the Building Resilience Series

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