This content was originally published on The Resilience Shift website. The Resilience Shift, a 5-year programme supported by Lloyd’s Register Foundation and hosted by Arup, transitioned at the end of 2021 to become Resilience Rising. You can read more about The Resilience Shift’s journey and the transition to Resilience Rising here.

Following an innovative sixteen-week project bringing together corporate and city leaders to reflect in real-time on leadership during the Covid crisis, The Resilience Shift has launched its new report on: “˜Resilient Leadership: Learning from Crisis’.

View highlights and download the report

With participation from senior leaders at corporate global firms, the World Bank and major cities across Europe, Africa, India, Brazil and the USA, this new report captures the emerging lessons for resilient leadership when dealing with a major crisis, the insights gained along the way, and the power of reflective learning to build leadership capability.

The report was formally launched on Wednesday 14 October 2020 at TEDx Resilience Shift as part of the global TEDx events following the recent weekend’s Ted Countdown event, the global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, turning ideas into action.

Four of the participants were reunited with the expert listener, Peter Willis, who interviewed them, to discuss what has changed for them as a result of the project and what they have learned from the crisis. Dr. Adriana Campelo, Director of Resilience, City of Salvador, Barbara Humpton, CEO, Siemens USA, Tom Lewis, President, Federal Programs and Logistics, USA, WSP, and Piero Pelizzaro, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Milan were asked to provide personal insights into how the experience of leading during the pandemic has altered their thinking, and to reflect on their learning from the project.

Dr Juliet Mian, Technical Director of The Resilience Shift, set out the context of why we need resilient leadership in the face of the global challenges facing us all, and following a curated video montage of highlights from TED Countdown. She highlighted how the humans in the system are critical to how we are able to build resilience to crises and future shocks and stresses.

Speakers from the project were clear on the personal and professional value they had gotten from the Resilient Leadership project.

Barbara Humpton commented on how Covid had demonstrated a clear desire for people’s work to have purpose, going across all age and seniority levels. Both Piero and Dr. Campelo spoke of Covid forcing a change in considerations and priorities for organisations and policy makers. “We should focus on the things that matter. People, the planet, our health. The crisis should put into proportion what we chose to devote action to” said Dr Campelo with Piero talking about how remote working is challenging how we can develop young leaders.

Summing up, Tom Lewis captured what leading during the crisis had made clear, “Leadership is demonstrated by what you do and how you act, not what you say”.

Findings of the report include:

  • The difference between “˜Resilient Leadership’ – the qualities of an individual leader, and “˜Leadership for Resilience’ – that enhances the resilience of the organisation, institution or community they lead.
  • The innovations leaders and their organisations made in real time as they navigated the once-in-a-lifetime personal and professional challenge that is leadership during Covid-19.
  • The need for leadership behaviours that optimise leadership strategies whether technical or personal and social.
  • The common key themes across emerging insights at each stage of the resilience cycle of preparedness, response, recovery, and transformation.
  • Three big overarching questions for the transformation of future leadership, including
    • the need to bridge the gap between senior leaders and those entering the workplace, overcoming traditional leadership structures
    • the need for city and corporate leaders to build on the break down of barriers between their organisations due to Covid, and to keep these conversations going outside of a crisis
    • and the need for organisations to give strategic importance to the art of reflective listening and conversation as part of their development and to build personal/professional resilience of their leaders

View highlights and download the report


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