Rising Up From Defeat

The Fort McMurray wildfire, which forced more than 80,000 Albertans from their homes in May of 2016, was the costliest insured disaster in Canadian history. As with any major disaster, the inclination was to rebuild things as they were. However, in a piece he wrote for the Globe and Mail, Glenn McGillivray, managing director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, stressed the importance of building resilience instead. According to McGillivray, in the event of a catastrophe, there is always a rush to restore everything exactly as it was, but this only leaves communities as vulnerable as they were before. While some aspects of a disaster are outside anyone’s control, there is always an opportunity to learn.

The essence of resilience is not just surviving a disaster but allowing it to change you, and emerging from it stronger. We are familiar with the concept of resilience in our personal lives, but resiliency is increasingly becoming a vital characteristic in the workplace.


Meet Jeff and Michael. Both are dynamic over-achievers — top-of-the-class MBA grads who had no trouble landing high-powered jobs where they’ve shone ever since, but now the stars have been unexpectedly dimmed, as both suddenly find themselves laid off.

Resilience in the workplace means rising up from disaster stronger than before. But how do you transform failure into a growth opportunity . . .

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