A good blog post is either entertaining, enlightening or educational. So today we have gone for educational. Here it is thigmomorphogenesis.
Not an easy word to pronounce. Certainly not an easy word to drop into a conversation. But a good word nonetheless. The key to this word – building resilience when the times get tough.
It appears this fine word examines a tree’s ability to handle strong winds and forces. Apparently people have been studying this fine art for hundreds of years. One interesting finding is that trees adapt to windy conditions. Indeed some of the strongest wood in the world comes from trees facing the strongest winds. The tall skinny trees appear to get a glorious start in life but are more likely to fall over in windy conditions, while the trees that have endured tough conditions get gnarled and twisted but they keep on going.
Do you know any teams that behave similarly? The minute the going gets tough, they fall over. They crack under the pressure. I love looking at the QC’s on TV when they come out of court. Half of them probably haven’t slept in days but they always appear as if they are in control. They usually look a bit gnarled from lack of sleep but they have that look of confidence about them.
The great news is that you don’t have to face diversity full on to build your own thigmomorphogenesis levels. (I’m not sure if that is a correct sentence but I like the look of it). You can now simulate workplace stressors to build resilience in your team.
Smart organisations are making their teams more resilient. They are strengthening the teams so their team remains strong during the storm. I was visiting our external printers last week to pick up some workbooks and they were in a panic. They’d lost power by missing a power company bill so the poor accounts person was looking unwell. Everyone was running around doing nothing (other than blaming the accounts and the power company). In my mind that’s not the time to panic. That’s the time to stay cool and figure out how to get the work completed. Instead they melted in front of their customer (me).
So if you’d like to add more thigmomorphogenesis to your team, here is a good starting point – a course on building “Workplace Resilience”
If you get the chance to drop the word thigmomorphogenesis into a conversation please let me know and I’ll send you a wonderful book as your reward.
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