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What We Learned About Resiliency: A Survive & Thrive Season 1 Recap
Episode 2025th May 2021 • Survive & Thrive • Jennifer Ayres
00:00:00 00:22:23

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After more than a year of the coronavirus pandemic, what have we learned? That’s the very question host Jennifer Ayers aims to answer as she looks back at the first season of the Survive & Thrive podcast.

In the Survive & Thrive Season 1 finale, Jennifer takes a look back at the 19 guests and 19 stories she helped to tell in order to find the common themes and lessons learned. There was an amazing amount of resilience shown as people and businesses faced unprecedented crises due to COVID-19. But what makes up resilience and how can we nurture that trait after the pandemic is over and life returns to normal? With the help of previous guests, Jennifer figures out the truest meaning of the word and what it takes to be resilient in the face of great change.

Act 1: Resilience

Pleasantly surprised by people’s resiliency (1:15)

As Dr. Partha Ghosh noted, the coronavirus pandemic was the true first world war for most people, affecting everyone in some way. Dr. Ghosh was surprised by the resiliency shown during the pandemic and lockdowns.

Where does resilience come from? (2:26)

While we all knew what resilience means, few had a true understanding of the word and how it relates to real life. Jennifer recalls back to her time with several guests to help figure out where that resilience comes from and what it looks like in business.

Act 2: Purpose

Defining purpose (4:33)

Jennifer describes what purpose means to her and what tenants make it up.

Being driven by your purpose (5:14)

As Kirsten Curtis discussed in the very first episode, finding your purpose and letting it drive your actions can lead to amazing things. For some, that meant helping scale the supply chain for N95 masks or creating ventilators at a time when they were in high demand.

Why is purpose so important in business (6:49)

Finding a purpose might seem like something for the individual but businesses are beginning to recognize how much it impacts everything. Jennifer details several key facts that show how having a purpose makes a difference on the bottom line while highlighting a few interviews from throughout the first season to back it up.


Act 3: Empathy

The importance of empathy in business (12:30)

Employees don’t feel a sense of commitment to help the organization if that same organization has not shown a sense of commitment to their well-being. Nearly every guest from this first season pointed to an increased need for empathy during this crisis but Steve Van Valin explained it best.

Empathy in supporting employee needs (15:15)

As the lockdown started, everything was brought into the home -- from kids’ schoolwork to business meetings. That spawned a need for changes in the work schedule and environment, and a need for companies to be far more empathetic. Rackspace executive Ed Skowronski and LLUNA CEO Jess Pagoni shared their insight on how this flexible and personalized workforce might just be here to stay.

Act 4: Adaptability

Nurturing flexibility (18:12)

The last ingredient of resiliency is being flexible. Organizations that nurture flexibility can adapt faster and respond quicker in times of change. Johnson & Johnson executive Bas Zwart shares very specific reasons why and how companies can practice being flexible and the importance of having a clearly-defined “North Star.”

Act 5: Wrapping up

Lessons learned (20:52)

We all experienced some remarkable things during this past year and there were so many lessons that came out of it. Dr. Ghosh and Jason Fields of Voicify believe technology has accelerated 10 years. The pandemic has also created an opportunity to refocus on a renewed sense of humanity and extend care towards others in order to help all of us stay resilient during times of great change.