From Resilience to Presilience

By: Rommel K Manwong

Area: Security and Resiliency Management


For several times, we always discuss about the VUCA world, an acronym for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. We all believe that we are living in a VUCA world, and that we continue finding VUCA solutions.


The Taal volcanic eruption, water supply shortage, power interruptions, household fires, typhoons, tsunamis, earthquakes, terrorism, criminality, and now COVID-19. These are a manifestation of our VUCA world which give rise to severe socioeconomic consequences. More serious impact on us and our society if we just remain into our current state of affairs.


It is for this reason that we need good governance, leadership and strategies to reform, reinvigorated and transform us from outmoded management theories. Heavily politicized bureaucratic approach and the idea of having one solution to problems should be a thing of the past that can just play the role of a backgrounder. What we need these current times are unique and distinct solutions and critical thinking. In other words, we need a balance between existing risks management roles into a more personalized risk management approach where the integration of roles, systems and procedures are synergized.


In these modern times, we have the opportunity to utilize the intricacies of technology and automation. We observe the importance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics in place. This create a unique opportunity for us to think differently about what we do and how we do it, which lead us to adapt and act with a shared responsibility to bounce back when crisis strike. More important so from just bouncing back to normalcy is that we can move to a state of presilience. While resilience is focused on recovery aimed at directing us to return as quickly as possible to the state where we were before the crisis, presilience on the other hand focuses on ensuring that we come out better with high performance outcomes.


Under this concept of presilience, it is here where adaptive innovation and agility live. It is here where risk intelligence is applied – “beyond risk management” or from “risk to opportunity”. Risk Intelligence (RI) is defined as a set of living skills, applied attributes and behaviors, that are frequently practiced, enabling effective decision making to manage potentially negative outcomes and capitalize on opportunities (Dr Gavriel Schneider). It enables better decision making and incorporates agility and resilience to proactively embrace opportunity and manage negative outcomes.


But to be VUCA ready, presilience is not just about high performance and outcomes, it is also about constant learning and adaption to grab on opportunity. Thus, there is a formula to follow, skills to develop and VUCA solutions to spread on.



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