When we think of resilience, we often think of bouncing back from a difficult situation. But in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, resilience isn’t just about bouncing back. It’s about understanding and adapting to the changes that occur in different levels of scale and time, and even potentially transforming into a different being in order to thrive in the new ecosystem that takes form.
This is where the concept of the panarchy adaptive cycle comes in. As I explained in an earlier blog post, the panarchy adaptive cycle is a model that explains how systems, whether they be companies, societies, or even civilizations, change and adapt over time. It’s made up of four phases: exploitation, conservation, release, and reorganization.
Exploitation is the phase where a system is in its prime, utilizing its resources to the fullest and growing rapidly. This is where most of us want to be- things are going well and we’re seeing success. However, as the system continues to grow, it eventually reaches a point of conservation, where it becomes more rigid and less able to adapt to change. This is the phase where things start to feel stagnant and we begin to feel like we’re stuck.
But change is inevitable, and so the system eventually reaches a release phase where it collapses and resources are freed up. This can be a scary and chaotic time, but it’s also a time of great potential for change and reorganization. In this phase, the system has the opportunity to adapt and transform into something new and better suited for the current environment.
So, how does this relate to resilience? Well, if we understand the panarchy adaptive cycle, we can see that true resilience isn’t just about bouncing back from a difficult situation. It’s about being able to adapt or even transform in order to thrive in the new emerging ecosystem. It’s about understanding that change is a natural part of the cycle and that there is always potential for growth and improvement.
Next time you’re feeling stuck or like you’re not bouncing back as quickly as you’d like, remember the panarchy adaptive cycle. It may be time for a change and a metamorphosis, rather than just bouncing back to where you were before. Embrace the release phase and the potential for reorganization and growth that it brings.
NB. This text was completely generated by ChatGPT but devised and slightly edited by me. And I added the image…