Is Chief Resiliency Officer the dream job of tomorrow?
Philip Monaghan, Sustainability Strategist And Author October 3, 2011
If in 2007 you were to tell
someone that just four years later we would live in a world where banks
are nationalized (to bail out a failed economic system), nature is
privatized (to generate new wealth from ecosystem services), and the Middle
East was the centre of the universe for democratic revolution (following the Arab
Spring), at best you would have been laughed at.
Such volatility means anyone
interested in sustainable development – business, public sector, or civil
society alike – is challenged to ensure that their organization, community, or
network is resilient to such changes. That is, having the capability to
understand the complex systems you live in and to make smart interventions
accordingly. So, when shocks occur – be it food
riots or nuclear
reactor meltdown threats – you are able to bounce back, learn, and
So what? This means any
organizational development strategy of any particular value show now factor in
the need for a new set of skills and management frameworks. Offices led by
people who thrive in such complex systems. People who are adept at overcoming
silos (through charm and through challenge), to work across disciplines and
sectors to create shared value. Vice Presidents of CSR, Directors of
Environmental Campaigns, or Chief Information Officers at Toyota, Greenpeace, or the State of California may all still be necessary,
but no longer sufficient. Thus arise the post of tomorrow – the Chief
Resilience Officer – people who are as comfortable with strategizing or
community engagement as they would be with a balance sheet or a scientific
journal. Leading an office whose responsibilities would relate to ensuring that
key leverage points in their organization’s complex system across a host of
departments and disciplines are fully utilized in support of its strategy.
Another four years down the
line, and who knows, by 2015 the post of Chief Resilience Officer may just be lots
of people’s dream job.