Friday, October 19, 2012

Why Things Bounce Back - Review of "Resilience" by Andrew Zolli & Ann Marie Healy

I enjoy studying leaders and leadership.  I recently read that among the most desirable traits in successful CEO's is the ability to bounce back from defeat: resilience.  So, when I saw the title of Andew Zolli's (with Ann Marie Healy) new book, I jumped at the chance to read it.  I was not disappointed.

The book is a tour de force of accounts of individuals and systems that are able to bounce back from unavoidable and unexpected shocks.  The topics covered and the examples given range from biological and ecological systems to businesses to communications networks to individuals and communities.  By the end of the book, the authors have addressed with great effectiveness the question: "What causes one system to break down and another to rebound?"  The answers are necessarily complex, but can be summarized in the following way: "By encouraging adaptation, agility and cooperation, this new approach can not only help us weather disruptions, but also bring us to a different way of being in and engaging with the world."

I find that the authors' conclusions fit well with the recently published "The Rainforest - Building the Next Silicon Valley" by Victor W. Hwang and Greg Horowitt.  Using a different matrix, they uncover similar principles.

This seminal work will help launch a new field of study into the broader ramification of resilience across multiple disciples.



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