How to be Antifragile

“A recession is coming! A recession is coming!” This is a very “Chicken Little” thing to say, yet I am hearing it more and more often these days. The funny thing about this statement is that a recession is always coming, so this is a rather indisputable comment. The Starks are right, “Winter is always coming” (for my Game of Thrones fans). There will always be corrections in the market and in our economy as a whole. Gino Wickman had a great mentor, Sam Cupps, who said, “In a ten-year cycle there are six good years, two great years, and two bad years that can potentially put you out of business.” It is the two bad ones that people are starting to worry about. So, what should you do to weather the storm? Or to use Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s term, how can you be Antifragile?

I have been thinking a lot about this lately, for me as a person, for my business, but even more so for my clients and their businesses. In the grand sense of things, when you go through tremendous struggle, you become stronger and more resilient. When you lift weights, microtears occur in your muscles, causing them to grow stronger. If we take a similar approach to becoming antifragile, you’ll see that with the right strategies and tools, your business can grow back stronger after a struggle. I have three ways that I believe you can move toward this goal of company strength.

Implementing EOS® (Entrepreneurial Operating System®) is a great way for companies to become antifragile. The system enables companies to get really good at solving their issues, or lifting their weights, to stick with the workout analogy. Remember that issues are just things to be dealt with; they can be opportunities or obstacles that companies need to jump over (or through). The EOS Toolbox® helps leaders and companies tackle these issues or opportunities, and EOS Implementers® are like personal trainers, helping their clients lift more and more weight and build their business muscles.

Another way to create an antifragile company is to increase your “Talent Density.” The book No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention, by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer, outlines a great method to approaching this. The idea is to always be increasing the level of talent in your organization. This group of talented people in your company will really shine during the two great years, and in the two bad years, they’ll help you weather the storm. They are your workout partners who spot you and drive you toward that next goal.

My final suggestion for becoming antifragile is to be more open and honest, which is incredibly important in EOS. Hastings and Meyer also speak to this in their book, calling it “increasing candor.” If EOS is your cardio, and talent density is your strength training, being open and honest is the key to a truly dynamic workout. The best environment for growth is founded on a system that enables, creates, and reinforces the concepts of being open and honest. I haven’t seen a system that does this better than EOS. In fact, we say that without a willingness to be open and honest, you just shouldn’t do EOS.

I’ve shown you the workout plan, now it’s up to you to put on that sweatband, get out there and create your recession-proof, antifragile organization by getting your team in issue-solving mode with EOS, creating talent density, and operating with honesty and candor.

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