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How to Cascade Resilience

One question organizational leaders often ask us is how they can efficiently cascade the best resilience methods out to people on the front lines. For example, one company we worked with was facing painful personnel reductions of over 40 percent, as well as changes to the senior leadership. They wanted their most senior leaders to not only develop their own resilience but also that of the people they led. Because of their tough economic situation they didn’t have the resources to train everyone in the company but they knew their people needed help.

To help them achieve this goal we began with resilience workshops for the top 120 leaders so that all senior executives would be equipped with the tools. Three workshops were arranged over three days which meant leaders had a choice of when to attend and the organization could continue to run smoothly.  Each session was introduced by a member of CEO’s leadership team to endorse the importance of the training.

To cascade the ideas from the training out to even more people, the organization and CCL implemented an approach called ‘Each One Teach One’. This meant that each leader who attended the session would teach the new tools to one group of people, in this case their team. To do this a series of short videos were created that explained the concepts and tools. The leader and their team watched these videos as a group and then went through a guided discussion about how they could apply the new concepts as a group.


Within the first two weeks nearly 1,000 employees were exposed to the new Challenge of Change Resilience Training concepts.  Words like “rumination” and “wake up” became catalysts for discussion and change; resilience became not just a training module but a central part of the company vernacular.  Ongoing check-in sessions that leaders created for their teams offered a safe context in which people could voice their views and concerns, and feedback from these sessions began to be incorporated into company well-being strategies.  The pressure from the economic uncertainty continued, but the overall approach was to help employees to reframe stress as pressure, enabling them to more effectively gain from the cascade of the resilience training.