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Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back Paperback – July 9, 2013
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“From biological systems to communities to businesses, Resilience teaches us that being strong is not about doing one thing very well. Instead, it is about utilizing flexibility, redundancy, and variety. In this important and useful book, Zolli and Healy help us all understand the importance of planning for the future, even when it means giving up some short-term gains.” —Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics, Duke University, and author of Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty
“Smart and sophisticated, this is a landmark work in a new field. If you are part of a system that wants to avoid collapse, read this book.” —David Eagleman, neuroscientist, author of Incognito and Why the Net Matters
“Resilience is mandatory reading for people of all disciplines that will transform how you approach daily global events. Part complexity theory, part psychology, it is a pivotal book for today and a necessity to strategically plan for tomorrow." —David Agus, MD, Professor of Medicine and Engineering, University of Southern California, and author of The End of Illness
"A whirlwind tour through an idea whose time has come. I suspect that the concepts in this book will define the next decade." —Jad Abumrad, host and creator of Radiolab and 2011 MacArthur Fellow
“Resilience is the most compelling book I’ve read in years about how to navigate the accelerating pace of change that characterizes our lives today. More than anything else it maps new territory for leaders whether they seek to impact business, science, national security, or social transformation. Making deeply original thinking both accessible and captivating, Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy have produced a rare and necessary book. The minute I put it down I began rethinking everything I thought I knew about how to make a lasting difference in the world.” —Bill Shore, founder and CEO of the antihunger organization Share Our Strength
"When the next disruption strikes, some will fall—and some, following the lessons of this book, will rise." —Juan Enriquez, author of As The Future Catches You and Homo Evolutis and managing director of Excel Venture Management
“Spending time with Andrew Zolli’s mind—that is what you will experience when reading Resilience—provides an understanding of the deep structures that will govern success in the coming century.” —Bruce Mau, cofounder and director of Massive Change Network
“Resilience is the most important key to healing a planet that faces the most dangerous of times. More important and far more essential that either sustainability or corporate responsibility. Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy’s new book has arrived at a time when we need their insight and wisdom most. Understanding resilience is imperative for our very health and survival.” —Jeffrey Hollender, cofounder of Seventh Generation and founder of Jeffrey Hollender Partners
“Resilience is, quite simply, a terrific book—an important sequel to Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody. The property of resilience is the key to health, well-being, and opportunity in networked, inter-connected, self-organized systems. Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy provide a roadmap to a more resilient world.” —Anne-Marie Slaughter, Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, Former Director of Policy Planning for the United States Department of State
About the Author
Ann Marie Healy is a playwright, screenwriter, and journalist. Her work has been produced in the United States as well as internationally, and her plays, essays, and stories have been published through Smith & Kraus, Samuel French, and The Kenyon Review. She lives in the Hudson River Valley.
Top Customer Reviews
I hate to give this book only three stars. However, in the end I was just wishing I would finish it. After a promising start, it ended up less than compelling. Further this is not at all about how an individual becomes resilient. If that's what you are looking for you only need to read a small fraction of the book.
It's OK. Just didn't suit me in the end.
The value of this book depends more upon the reader than the writers. If this is your first exposure to any kind of "systems" view of the world, then there's a high probability you will find Resilience to be intriguing and frustrating. This is a book of anecdotes that are supposed to demonstrate resilience and offer lessons; sometimes the conclusions/lessons make sense though they're all offered ipso facto, occasionally though the anecdote may be intriguing, you have to wonder how the story even fits within the resilience topic. The frustrating part is there's nothing actionable. Resilience is certainly a useful notion and there are a lot of "systems" professionals in every field from biology to banking who practice it, some more successfully than others.
Even if you're new to the topic, a better start is Gerald Weinberg's much shorter classic, "An Introduction to General Systems Thinking." And although it may not seem relevant, Peter Senge first pushed his "Fifth Discipline" systems thinking in 1990, revised in 2006; Senge's context is `the learning organization' but he could have called it `the resilient organization' as well.
Resilience is defined as "the capacity of a system, enterprise, or a person to maintain its core purpose and integrity in the face of dramatically changed circumstances." The "system" term appears frequently (504 times) and is a fundamental part of resilience but gets no real attention.Read more ›
Given that resilience is not generally discussed, the Introduction goes through a challenging baseline discussion to position the concept. By listing some sample disruptions -- Katrina, Haiti, BP, Fukushima, the Crash, the Great Recession, the London Mob, the Arab Spring -- they help to set the stakes. As they point out near the end of the book, some of these ecological or socioeconomic time bombs may be difficult for Americans to understand because we've been fortunate enough to be largely insulated from fragilities and disruptions that others in the world have had to deal with. "In a world temporarily devoid of consequences, the slow erosion and increasing inelasticity of our political, financial, socioeconomic and ecological systems scarcely seemed to matter.Read more ›
This work is coherently sequenced exploring, for a start, the nature of our tightly coupled world &, while this may be an efficiency maximizer, how this may compromise the construct of resilience. They go on to define what resilience is & then how it may manifest in our systems & closer still, in our lives. Having described then the various aspects of resilience, the final chapter tries to put it all together - a great summary, in my mind.
I'd say the chapters on systemic resilience are rather easier to comprehend - in a comparative sense
- than the chapters on human resilience. But the chapters on aspects of human resilience are much more fascinating. The great quality of this book is bringing together some truly interesting stories that exemplify an aspect of resilient humans or societies. And because of the research, & in spite of the great story-telling, data & information underscore lucidly the achievements of such resilient constructs making the tales more credible.
My sense is that ultimately the idea of resilience, though beautifully described here, cannot be divorced from its context in some sort of a deterministic way. The determinism is limited to the qualities of the resilient system but what the resilient system is depends on the context. I think that such ambiguity isn't necessarily a bad thing, though some of us might expect a more prescriptive dossier.
The authors, I felt, might have lightened up a little along the way. But this remains one of the more interesting & engaging books I've read this year.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book brilliantly dissects the umbrella term of resilience with a plethora of social, personal, organizational, and ecological case studies. Highly recommend it!Published 7 months ago by Eddie
Thought provoking book regarding setting up resilient systems.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
Incredibly well written by an excellent author. I learned a lot...about many things that I did not necessarily think had much to do with resilience. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Doug
This book has changed the way I view change - for the better...and just in time...given the increasing speed of change in our world, communities, and lives.Published 15 months ago by Joanna Desa
Good read for those who think intuitively..........it meanders a bit and knits academics with storytelling. I liked it!Published 19 months ago by Mich_in_Sturtevant