Anti-fragility, is a term dubbed by statistician and author, Nassim Taleb. The concept of anti-fragility goes beyond resilience to describe that which gains and thrives from disorder. Instead of bouncing back to its original status, it absorbs the impact and moves to a better, stronger place, a place from which it can thrive.
In this self-investment webinar, Lead with Humanity Associate, Kathy Harris, explores how that could impact on our lives and our world as individual leaders. Instead of trying to bounce back to where we were before, an anti-fragile approach requires us to absorb the impact, create new synapses, develop new habits and get to a point where we can thrive through and from the chaos.
The Anti-Fragile strategy loves randomness and thrives off of uncertainty and failures. Talib offers a simple rule for the decision-maker:
‘Any intervention that we, as leaders, decide to put in place must prove its benefits, and these benefits must be greater than the natural path.’
Some systems self-correct, and sometimes, the best course of action is to do nothing at all. But if we open ourselves up to the stressors, the failures and the volatility, we will be in a much better position to make good decisions.
Kathy also draws on the work of Annie Duke, professional poker player and author in the behavioural sciences. Duke’s book, Thinking in Bets, is about becoming comfortable with inevitable and unavoidable uncertainty. We need to move from the need for certainty to a point where we can honestly assess what we know and what we don’t know. By embracing uncertainty, which is the reality of living in a world of increasing unknown unknowns, we can avoid reactive emotions, knee-jerk biases and destructive habits to become more confident, calm and compassionate.
Duke offers three effective words for leaders and individuals in response to uncertainty: I’m not sure.
There is great power in these three words. They are a sign of strong and effective leadership that elicits great collaboration. Those words engender great conversation, creativity, quality and diverse inputs. They are a sure way to galvanise more voices in the room.