Build resiliency as corporate lifespans decline, with Pravir Malik

When Pravir Malik entered the workforce, he was struck by the lack of humanity and extreme competitiveness prevalent in corporate culture. This formative experience inspired his study of the resilience of enduring organizations - their cultures, people and structures. Today, as Head of Organizational Science for a leading retailer, Pravir is a change architect and preeminent scientist focused on complex adaptive systems and human potential.

Longevity depends on companies’ ability to morph culture and operations as complex adaptive systems.

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Build resiliency as corporate lifespans decline, with Pravir Malik

Pravir shared tremendous wisdom and insights about enduring organizations and human potential.

To build resilience, rethink your organizational structures to act as complex adaptive systems.

Pravir characterizes these organizations as:

  • Unpredictably complex
  • Living organisms seeking new perspectives and surfacing creative ideas
  • Structurally flexible, with shifting centers of control depending on organizational challenges 

Ultimately, these organizations successfully maintain the core of what they represent—their why—while simultaneously adapting and successfully making incremental changes in real-time. 

Help employees ‘empty their cups.’

Employees each have a ‘cup’, most often brimming with ego, set ideas, and habits. Emptying their ‘cup’ precipitates radically different perspectives, and new mental connections. Organizations need to help people rapidly empty their cups to make room for new points of view.

If change feels like you’re turning a ship, your organization is doing it wrong.

Most legacy companies are akin to massive ships: they turn at a glacial pace and any change in course requires tremendous effort. Pravir suggests creatively adaptable organizations are built on cultures of experimentation, expanded notions of hierarchy, and openness to trying new things. 

Everything exists in a balance, including organizations.

The four core values of knowledge, power, presence and harmony must act together to create a sustainable culture. Pravir has observed that the core values in high performing companies are distributed among the four principles.  While some values may come more naturally in certain organizations, only those companies that strike a balance all four values will thrive.  

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