So what is resilience? In Chapter One, Conner defines it as "the ability to demonstrate both strength and flexibility in the face of frightening disorder and the internal guidance system people use to reorient themselves when blown off course by the winds of change." He says that resilience is a key skill that can be learned in organizations since we spend so much of our time at work and that leaders can guide their organizations through changes by helping them focus on the change being achievable.
Finally, he concludes the first chapter by saying that we each are designed to move effectively and efficiently through change at a unique pace that will allow us to absorb the major changes and this is referred to as the Speed of Change. He says that "when we assimilate less change than our optimum speed would allow then we fail to live up to our potential."
So what happens when change happens at a speed that is more than we can handle? Conner says that when people can no longer successfully face change, they begin to display dysfunctional behavior, or what he calls the Beast. The Beast is subconscious behaviors that manifest as a result of perceived negative or positive changes (e.g. - reality not meeting expectations) such as becoming distant, irritability, preoccupation, and lack of productivity. It also decreased our speed of change. The focus of this book therefore, is to offer specific information about the patterns of change and what successful (e.g. - resilient) people do to achieve their change objectives and to move past the Beast.
Are you assimilating change at the speed that you are capable of? Are you living up to your potential?