What does ‘antifragile’ mean?

Antifragile book cover

We are living through a time of extraordinary change. And like the exponential growth of a virus, the pace of that change is accelerating.

Each change on its own is unpredictable. But the changes are also interconnected: a change in our technology affects our politics and economies, which affects our social cohesion and of course our environment, which changes the technologies we need…

If we want to live well through this time we can’t just do more of what worked in the past. We need a new approach to leading ourselves and other people through times of unprecedented change.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s third book gives a hint of what that might look like. In it, he invents a new word: ‘antifragile’.

Summarising his argument, 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 ‘strong’, ‘robust’, or ‘resilient’
  • So let’s invent a new word for things, people, and organisations that actually become stronger under stress. Let’s call this word: “anti-fragile”

The Churning, Inner Leadership is a book that describes a framework and a set of tools for becoming antifragile: for learning not just how to survive change but how to use change to become stronger.

Because only when we can do this, only when our response to any challenge is simply to become clearer about what we most want and more able to achieve it, will this time of churning truly come to an end.

These blog posts are summarising many (but not all) of the key points from the book. They and it will show you how to connect more deeply with the best of yourself, how to see a situation more clearly, and how to find more opportunities to move forward and inspire yourself and other people to do what needs to be done.

These blog posts are summarising many of the key points. If you would find this useful, you can check back here daily. Or you can sign up to receive posts by email here. Or you can find us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.


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

You can sign up to daily posts here.

You can buy the book here and the workbook here.

(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also need to practice.)


Photo By Gene Ng via StockPholio.net

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