The sentence is clear: when we talk about business, we must have a cold head. From this premise, we have jumped to the conclusion that the way we carry out economic transactions must be at ice temperature. That's been good in the past, and I'm afraid we have to change the premise. It is time to replace it with something like “business is done with a cold head and heart in hand”. Part of what this hasty wave of movements, resilience emerges as a bastion that we can hold on to. Being resilient to disturbing obstacles, today more than ever, becomes an element for survival and the foundational stone of competitive advantage.
It is not a romantic idea or a dream of overcoming that takes us flying through the clouds. On the contrary, I'm talking about fixing feet on the floor of reality and from that perspective, objectively seeing the situation in which we are standing, understanding what we have to do to get through all of them. It's about looking at the environment and including it in our plans, because in solitude, we're not going to go very far. So, we seek the common good, because it is the right thing to do, but also because that is convenient for us to forge a better destiny. I'm talking about doing a real teamwork that's glorious individually and collectively. We can do it.
We are discovering new ways of working. We had to start using the video conferencing platforms. We have discovered that there are agile technologies capable of transforming stopped factories into suppliers for hospitals and health institutions. Many managed to change their processes to make respirators, mouth caps, masks, to integrate into a distribution chain and forge value-creating links. We're learning what resilience is. We are already assimilating what it means to have the ability to overcome circumstances so adverse that they border on the trauma. We are awakening to the importance of having a positive attitude to difficult circumstances, to transform the difficulty into an opportunity. And we'd better take it seriously because the current health crisis will be followed by an economic crisis.
Tim Hardford, economist, and author of the book Fifty Innovations That Have Changed the World, recounts this anecdote to exemplify the importance of resilience. In 1975, Keith Jarrett, an extraordinary musician, jazz pianist, had to give a concert at the Cologne Opera. The concert was about to be a blunder. But he was saved and did not end up in a shipwreck thanks to Jarret's resilience. It turns out that the jazz player stumbled, when he went on stage, with an old, small, out-of-tune piano. The first diagnosis was fatal: it could not be used to play fine music. However, the musician felt compelled to play, as there was the audience that awaited him. He couldn't let them down, so, objectively understanding their limitations and with his heart in his hands, he began to attack the keys of that rickety instrument. The result was a total triumph: the expected results were exceeded and one of the most successful live jazz records of the history was obtained. What was the formula for that success?
According to Hardford, when Jarret realized that the instrument was not fit for the occasion, if he tried to adapt to the piano that could not be played and therefore the disaster would be fulminant—and that he also had no other element to perform the concerto—the musician found a source of inspiration that became new ways of playing and did. That is, it is about having a cold mind to justify the situation and the heart to succeed. Now the equation has two elements, you must have them to work. The objectivity of the analysis is not sufficient; it takes a burning heart that responds with creativity and innovation to the challenge and commitment.
With this pandemic, we are learning about the plasticity of structures and those that do not show understanding will be broken. In fact, they've already broken and even though some people still don't realize it, sooner or later they'll give up. The old world order was separating us. The deepening gap profunda between those who own eighty percent of the world's assets and the rest of the inhabitants of the earth has not been the sole reason for polarization. We were too busy on a screen. Frivolity distanced us. The arrogance that leads us to believe that success was deserved, that it was done by us alone, and that those who fought to make ends meet could not blame anyone but themselves,has torn us apart and it is not a good idea to be separated.
This prospect of triumph makes it difficult to believe that we are all one team as incite encourages the winners to consider themselves the architects of their success, and those who fall behind to appreciate that the elites look at them with contempt and to look at them with resentment. Which team if at the moment of truth, some hang the medals and others just stare? In a more landed aspect, today companies have to realize that without resilience they are lost. There is no way to continue demanding lion credits from our suppliers, there is no way to continue to take advantage of a foreign cash flow. If we do not take care of our customers and our suppliers, if we do not serve them as a boost step, we will run out of them.
The competitive advantage must be settled for resilient frictions. This is because it is not considered as a capacity but as a process that encompasses a multitude of factors. If a person is going through an extreme or delicate situation, there are a number of factors that influences, such as family, environment, economic situation, friendships to succeed, today companies and businesses have to start shaping resilient ecosystems with processes that help us overcome. That is, it is not an individualistic vision, but one with ample spectrum and increased radius.
A resilient process identifies the situation and creates alternatives to overcome difficulties. Of course, you must be careful, and the systematic optimism only leads to continuous clashes of situation. Resilient enterprises must have a mission, vision and value, the latter with common sense to offer ways to interpret and channel events. They get organize with strategies, make the most of what you have at hand. They have eagle eye as they can see possibilities where others only see confusion. If, amid the mist generated by this crisis, businesses realize that resilience can forge a better environment for them, I have no doubt that this element will become the foundational stone of competitive advantage. Resilience will lead them to stand out because that's what the new order of things in the world must be about.