COVID-19 very rapidly redefined the world of work. For many of us, things are not going to return to the way things were — nor should they.
This is the second post of a three-part series addressing the future of work in a new reality. To read part one, please visit Reinventing work in a disrupted world.
COVID-19 has taught us that agility and resilience are not the only capabilities that organizations needed yesterday; they also needed antifragility. Those that had that trait fared better during the initial crisis. Antifragility can be best described as the ability to thrive as a direct result of stressors, shocks, attacks, or failures. The concept was first described by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder. Taleb offers this definition: “Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.”1
The pandemic has produced a wealth of data about work processes and has exposed weak links. The COVID-19 reset provides the opportunity to build antifragility as a “whole systems” approach through the following:
Because companies have had varying degrees of risk exposure to COVID-19, different recovery patterns will result:
When planning for an economic recovery and building antifragility capabilities, there are three critical areas to consider:
No matter what stage of recovery you’re in, these fundamental actions will build antifragility. In my next blog, we’ll discuss why adopting a workforce-wide digital mind-set is essential for implementing these changes.