Four Strategies to Bolster Your Association’s Resilience Right Now

From the top down, resilience is key to surviving the crises of 2020. Here are just a few ways to firm up your foundation for better days.

If you’ve spent the last couple of months battening down the hatches, don’t feel bad. It’s going around.  The secret to surviving this tough time is your ability to hang on, adapt well, and re-emerge on the other side.

In a word, you need resilience. It’s a quality that you should encourage at all levels of your organization. Here are a few ways to nurture a resilient spirit at your association:

Make sure the organization’s vision is solid. While a good technology backbone is important, it won’t be effective without vision, LumApps founder and CEO Sébastien Ricard writes for CMSWire. An organization’s vision should be broad and flexible, he says. “For instance, a company can have the core value of ‘Put the customers first’ or ‘Embrace and champion change.’ Overarching philosophical mantras like these don’t stand in the way of major organizational change. In fact, they make the process easier. Leaders need to emphasize these goals and make it clear that these objectives are what drive every other consideration.”

Develop organizational intelligence. In a recent article for Harvard Business Review, authors George Yip and Nelson Phillips say leaders need organizational intelligence (OQ) to drive the performance they want. OQ has multiple components, they say, but “one key OQ competency is sending messages that reinforce the strategy. The simpler and clearer, the better; organizational members at all levels suffer from information overload, so leaders need to be selective about what messages to send.”

Communicate regularly with staff. In an article for Forbes, Northwestern University’s Erald Minga, a human capital management and workforce strategy leader for the school, says regular messaging with your team will strengthen resilience by ensuring everyone is in the loop. “Regularly scheduled weekly all-staff presentations with updates on current events and creation of a strategic plan will help connect employees toward a shared mission and instill trust toward leadership,” Minga says. “The information should be clear, concise, and shared in a kind manner. HR can help close information gaps through pulse surveys and check-ins and provide additional support to leadership by creating follow-up training.”

Build your own resilience as a leader, too. A focus on positive emotion can help ensure that even if you feel the extremes of these tough times, you can find your equilibrium as a leader—and your team needs that. “Positive emotion broadens our cognitive repertoire. Positive emotion increases almost every factor of human performance and makes us more receptive to new ideas and feedback,” Scott Taylor, an associate professor of organizational behavior at Babson College, told Babson Thought & Action recently. “Positive emotion renews us in terms of immune system functioning as well as the ability to persist in an endeavor that we’re involved in.”

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Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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