Guest Column | November 2, 2017

Three Steps to a More Resilient Organization

By Liz Bywater, Ph.D.


2017 has brought its share of storms — dramatic disruptions across the political, economic, and regulatory landscapes, alongside major hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, and floods. The impact of these stressors will be felt for months or even years. At the same time, communities have come together, leaders have stepped up, and remarkable progress has been made in addressing the challenges of the day.

As a leader, you know more storms will arrive. The good news is, you are ideally situated to help your organization stay solid yet flexible, able to pivot to meet new challenges. Your leadership is the key to keeping your workforce focused, productive, optimistic, and creative no matter what comes your way.

Here are three keys to building resilience in today’s dynamic healthcare universe:

Engage in robust dialogue about the challenges your organization is facing. Look closely at what’s going especially well and just as closely at what isn’t. Have your team exchange ideas about how to succeed today and prepare for coming challenges. This will enable the team to pivot, build innovative strategies, adapt to changing circumstances, and avoid “regrettable repetitions” of costly mistakes.

Be honest about the impact of constant change. Reorganizations, budget cuts, hurricanes, earthquakes, and the unknown fate of the ACA — these are just of few of the myriad stressors of the day. “Business as usual” isn’t easy under these conditions. Getting out ahead requires creativity and grit. So, while you shouldn’t stay mired in the past, you do want your team to know you “get” how tough a road it’s been.

Model optimism. As the leader, you have tremendous influence on the tenor of your organization. If your people see you displaying genuine excitement about the future, they will be inspired to do the same. Set the right tone. Your authentic positivity will foster hopefulness, dedication, and renewed energy throughout your organization.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Dr. Liz on Leadership. Each month, I will share new ideas, tools and advice to help you thrive in today’s ever-changing healthcare environment. Let me know what’s top of mind and I’ll answer your most pressing questions in future columns. Contact me at

For additional tools and thought leadership, check out my all-new website, And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Slow Down to Speed Up: Lead, Succeed, and Thrive in a 24/7 World!