What is ‘antifragile’?

Antifragile book cover

We are living through a time of extraordinary change. And the rate of change is increasing month by month.

That change is unpredictable but it is also somehow connected. It is manifesting itself not just in one area but in our politics, in our technology, in our environment and economies, and in our levels of social engagement, activism, and social cohesion (or lack of it).

If we want to survive in this time, if we want to thrive in this time and build something better, we can’t simply extend the old business as usual. We need a new approach to leading ourselves and other people through times of change that is different from how we used to lead ourselves when times were stable.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s third book gives a hint of what that might look like. Called “Antifragile: Things that gain from disorder,” it defines a new word.

Paraphrasing, Taleb says that:

  • Things, people, and organisations that break when they come under stress we call ‘fragile’
  • Things, people, and organisations that do not break under stress we call ‘robust’ or ‘resilient’
  • We need a new word for things, people, and organisations that actually become stronger and thrive when placed under stress
  • Let’s call this “anti-fragile”

The Churning, Inner Leadership is a book that describes a process for becoming antifragile: so that you not only know how to survive change but also know how to become stronger because of change.

Over the next 100 days, these blog posts will summarise that process.

They will show you how to build that process in yourself, how to use it to inspire the people around you, and finally how to use it to build antifragile organisations.

Only then, when we and our organisations are able to choose how we respond to change, and use any challenge to build what we truly want most, will this time of churning come to an end.

If you would find that useful, check back here daily. Or find us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Or you can sign up to receive posts by email here.


Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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Photo By Gene Ng via StockPholio.net

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