WebinarsResilience by Design: Embedding Learning for Success

In today’s ever-changing business landscape, building resilience has become crucial for organizational success. In this webinar, Sidney Weinstein, Mike Geier, and Leon Israel share proven strategies for implementing resilience through gamification and immersive learning. They provide practical techniques that help you align resilience with business objectives and risk tolerance.

The webinar covered key topics such as driving engagement through social nudging and scoreboards, communicating learnings through storytelling, leveraging surveys and feedback loops for risk intelligence, and establishing agility habits through bite-sized microsimulations.

Here’s a recap of the webinar.

Resilience Challenges

To kick off the webinar, participants were tasked with prioritizing their challenges. The key concerns that surfaced included measuring resilience, limited resources and support, communication, team engagement, and executive sponsorship.

It’s clear that gauging organizational preparedness and securing resources for resilience initiatives are major challenges.

Resilience Challenges


The Science of Engagement

The science of engagement and resilience delves into the intricate ways in which individuals respond to extreme conditions, and neuroscientists have explored the underlying factors. By studying stress response and the prefrontal cortex, researchers have gained valuable insights into decision-making and human behavior in challenging situations.

One key element that aids individuals in reacting to these circumstances is neuroplasticity. This concept refers to the brain’s ability to adapt and change based on learned experiences. The application of neuroplasticity becomes evident in the realm of executive functioning, which encompasses task management and decision-making. When faced with challenging situations, making informed decisions is crucial to successfully resolve the situation.

To prepare our brains for the unexpected, the concept of “Resilience by Design” comes into play. This approach focuses on training yourself to be ready for unforeseen circumstances and strengthening the prefrontal cortex, the center of executive functioning. Just as physical exercise builds muscle, engaging in live experiences enables individuals to build a library of learning and muscle memory. By doing so, you equip yourself to effectively navigate unexpected situations and foster resilience.

Through the lens of iluminr, this approach:

  1. Fosters a resilience culture by engaging in continuous practice: Using Microsimulations to foster continuous learning, creation, and validation, teams can strengthen their resilience program.
  2. Supports resilience culture through decision insights: Making effective decisions based on real-time data from trusted sources enables you to contextualize information and escalate when necessary, ensuring data-driven decision-making that is relevant to the situation at hand.
  3. Culminates in an effective response orchestration: Utilizing mechanisms and tools that enable high-touch engagement with the right teams and stakeholders at the right time. Through constant collaboration and review, you can adapt and adjust our approach to ensure success in navigating unexpected circumstances.

Storytelling is key

In the world of risk management, traditional approaches excel in well-ordered domains where everything follows a clear plan. But what happens when chaos strikes? When faced with a crisis, a complex or non-linear situation, the old methods fall short. Adaptation becomes the key to effective crisis management.

Here’s where storytelling takes center stage. It’s fascinating to learn that 65% of our daily communication relies on storytelling. Picture a crisis unfolding—an unclear narrative emerges, much like the absence of distinct patterns. It’s in these moments that we need to employ different tools and approaches to navigate the storm.

While specific playbooks exist for certain crisis scenarios, like cybersecurity incidents, the essence of crisis planning lies in preparing for the unknown. Uncertain events with unpredictable impacts demand our attention. The goal becomes establishing a shared understanding of the situation and implementing a flexible framework to address it.

Driving Engagement and Operationalizing Resilience

Crises bring about uncertainty, emotional reactions, heightened interest, and increased scrutiny. To overcome these challenges, it is essential to understand the situation and the individuals within your teams. Leveraging tools that meet people where they are is crucial to driving engagement.

Let’s touch on some cognitive biases that might take over during a crisis:

  1. Cognitive lock-in: Occurs when under stress. The ability to process information reduces by 80%, dramatically decreasing complex reasoning abilities. The results are a tendency to make an initial decision and stick with it.
  2. Task Saturation: During a crisis, there is a strong desire to solve problems to relieve stress. However, this can lead to a focus on tasks that may or may not be important, and the relative importance of tasks shifts dramatically and dynamically during a crisis.
  3. Groupthink: This phenomenon describes a situation where group members prioritize agreement to minimize group conflict, over arriving at the most appropriate decision.

Cognitive Biases Source: BDO Global


Engaging resilience teams during a crisis presents significant challenges. The approach lies in implementing scalable processes and frameworks that adapt to changing scenarios. The focus is on building team skills to rapidly assess and filter information, enabling effective decision-making. By fostering continuous engagement and developing muscle memory, teams can perform confidently during crises. The sharing of frameworks and checklists counteracts cognitive biases and limitations. Solely relying on manual efforts falls short; instead, empower small yet mighty resilience teams with technology to ensure success.

Exercises and training are commonly employed to overcome cognitive biases. These activities provide an opportunity to work through these biases in a structured environment before a crisis unfolds, allowing us to test tools and templates.

Research shows that people retain approximately 85% of what they experience or interact with, compared to only 10% of what they hear. Therefore, training and exercising play a crucial role in enhancing retention.

Just imagine the impact of identifying a significant action item during an exercise, which later proves to be a lifesaver during an incident or crisis response. The goal is to push the boundaries of these biases and engage in challenging conversations proactively rather than waiting for a crisis to strike.

Building Habits for Agility

To kick off this discussion on building habits for agility, attendees were asked: Which areas of your organization do you believe would benefit most from incorporating resilience strategies?

Leadership and decision-making, and operational processes and efficiencies have emerged as frontrunners, followed very closely by employee engagement and well-being, and risk management and mitigation.

Interestingly, there may be a common thread between the first two categories, aligning with the concept of capability. This suggests that organizations recognize the importance of fostering strong leadership and efficient operational processes as critical factors for building the habits for agility.

In the face of growing complexity, there is a widespread urgency to embrace resilience. It has become a paramount concern for everyone and what organizations want to do is build habits for agility and resilience, and bake it into the culture of their organization.

It involves addressing resilience at all levels and meeting people where they are. Traditional testing and exercising processes, conducted once a year, are no longer sufficient. Regulatory pressure and the need for end-to-end scenario testing have increased.

To rise to the challenge, organizations must conduct various tests and document their learnings to identify gaps and improve. Deliberate practice is essential, ensuring muscle memory is developed for gameday response. Creating frameworks for severe yet plausible scenarios is necessary, as it’s impossible to plan for everything. Flexible frameworks allow for adaptable responses during crises, strengthening the organization’s resilience, and leveraging technology become paramount in building a robust and resilient organization.

In closing…

Building habits for agility and designing resilience into the fabric of your organization is essential for long-term success. By incorporating proven strategies, fostering a culture of continuous learning, and leveraging technology, organizations can navigate complexities and unexpected challenges with confidence. The integration of resilience into the organizational culture creates a strong foundation for growth, adaptability, and sustained performance in an ever-changing business landscape.

To learn more, watch the full webinar or reach out to the iluminr team for a discussion.

Michelle Doan
Director of Marketing