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The Power of Resilience with FTI Consulting’s Andrew Gerrard

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• Andrew Gerrard, Head of Markets and Strategy in Asia at FTI Consulting, talks to The Mag about the power of resilience at work and in life.
• Resilient people, or organisations are agile, innovative and future-minded.
• Developing personal and business resilience is about building inner strength and a support network that can help you through tough times.

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What’s the one thing that motivates you? “The Power Series” offers thought leadership insights from industry experts at Taikoo Place on the “power” of their initiatives in relation to everyday life. In April, we speak to Andrew Gerrard, Head of Markets and Strategy in Asia at FTI Consulting, about the power of resilience.

What pushes us forward when life puts us back?

It’s all about resilience, the ability to withstand adversity.
It’s what gives me the strength to process and overcome hardship, be it an everyday hurdle at work or at home – trust me, you’d also have to practise resilience on a daily basis if you were homeschooling two young daughters like I have been; or when helping clients who are going through a global crisis like the pandemic!

We can all agree that 2020 was a tough year. Even now, we’re still going through a challenging time: we’ve had to adapt to the “new normal” in different aspects of our lives, and, as we found in our FTI Consulting's Resilience Barometer COVID-19 report, it’s no different for big business. C-suite leaders across the world are having to evolve their strategies or even change their business models in order to survive. Faced with disruptions to supply chains, drops in productivity, profitability and cash flow, and potentially permanent changes in consumer behaviour, resilience has become a key area of focus for companies in driving sustainable growth.
“Resilience gives me the strength to process and overcome hardship, [whether] at work or at home. ”
Resilient people, or organisations, all share similar traits: they are agile, innovative and future-minded. In supporting our clients to manage change, mitigate risk and resolve disputes, we have observed that resilient companies are the ones that aren’t afraid to challenge business norms to prepare for future risks and opportunities. For example, a robust online presence – previously just a competitive advantage – has now become a necessity; companies who were already digitising their offerings generally find themselves in a good position during lockdowns.

Developing personal and business resilience both begin with nurturing your inner strength. Individually speaking, it’s as simple as looking after your body and mind. I find that things like nutrition, hydration, exercise and mindfulness help me build the foundation and capability to respond to stressful situations.

It’s also about building confidence. It’s normal to feel anxious when facing an obstacle, but a resilient person can tap into their own strength and has the confidence that they can overcome it. This is why I make a conscious effort to always celebrate my kids’ achievements and talk to them about how they have conquered a challenge, which could be reading a book or just spelling a word – even small tasks can seem insurmountable when you’re that age. But helping them to recognise these daily achievements gives them the tools and confidence they need to face more challenging situations when they grow up.
For an organisation, internal strength means a strong culture where people feel engaged, respected and that they have a voice. As a leader, I think it’s important to help colleagues develop personal resilience – so, taking care of their wellbeing and recognising individual achievements applies here too. Maintaining culture, supporting collaboration and driving engagement within an organisation in a time of remote working is a new challenge to address. If anything, communication is even more important now than ever before and something we have had to elevate during the pandemic to ensure people feel connected.

I also make sure that I’m a support network for my colleagues. I’m lucky that I’ve always had great mentors whom I could go to when I faced difficulties in life. It makes a tremendous difference when you know you aren’t alone and there’s a network in place to give you advice and catch you if you fall. This is why I love our coaching culture and mentorship programmes at FTI, where teammates feel comfortable and trusting enough to share and receive feedback on a daily basis.

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Find inspiration from your Taikoo Place neighbours –
Read more from The Mag’s POWER SERIES.  

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It’s equally important for companies to have their own support networks. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that the risks organisations face extend far beyond the fluctuations of a particular industry or ecosystem. I’m especially grateful that we co-founded the Taikoo Place Business Network with Swire Properties, The Great Room and The Refinery when our company moved here in 2018, where we have hosted informal events to connect people in the community. Over the past year, we truly experienced the benefits of having a strong business community and how it helps us stay strong and resilient. I have, for example, reached out to different connections to ask them how they have been managing the pandemic and about their workplace strategies. These insights allow us to learn from and support each other, while feeling reassured that we are all in this together.

After all, no one, and no business, is an island. And when you’re confident enough to draw from not only your strengths but also your support systems, no obstacle is going to stop you from bouncing back to continued success.

How do we embrace our true selves and seek beauty in others? Read more about the Power of Beauty with Make Up For Ever’s Teresa Lo.

Do you work at Taikoo Place and want to be featured in The Power Series? Get in touch.
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