At our upcoming Technology & Innovation North America Forum, I will have the honor of kicking off our Creative Resilience track with a session called “Embrace ‘Resilient By Design’ To Enable Innovation,” so lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the topic. At its essence, resilience is the capability to survive, adapt, and flourish in the face of turbulent change and uncertainty.

One of the keys to business success is dependable and resilient technology. Modern organizations rely on a variety of technologies to help the business achieve resiliency and innovation. I was thinking of ways to illustrate how technological trends support business resiliency. And then I thought of an example from my own life that makes the point nicely.

I’ve played badminton for many years. Growing up, I used a racket like the one in this photo.

In its design, this racket was solid, heavy, and had a rigid wooden frame and shaft. It got the job done ,but it was far from perfect. Most notably, it was inflexible, which limited my play and could even cause injuries if I didn’t handle it well. Simply put, the racket’s characteristics limited my game and the impact I wanted to make.

Over the years, badminton manufacturers added a lot of innovative features. These include flexible shafts, feather-light weight, a variety of string tensions, and optimized weight distribution. I can choose a racket based on my needs, preference, style (balanced, defensive, or attacking), and game (singles or doubles). The racket’s design elements and flexibility make me more effective. I’m less worried about getting injured or the limitations of my equipment and more focused on new moves and the limitations of my opponent. These adaptations took creativity, and they didn’t happen overnight.

To me, this modern racket represents “resilience by design”; its design and characteristics embody resilience. These have enabled me to take advantage of the new capabilities. Pair this with heart monitors, camera sensors, etc., and I can improve my game further, making changes and adjustments in real time. The possibilities are endless.

Apply this to your business situation. Do you have a lot of technical debt (think of inflexible, fragile tech like legacy rackets, holding you back)? Are you investing in new technologies, architectures, applications, and infrastructure? If so, how resilient are those technologies, and will they serve the resilience requirements of your business?

I am curious to know how you think about resilience, how you practice it, and what more you need to accelerate your business. If you want to discuss the details in depth, please join us at our Technology & Innovation North America Forum in Austin,Texas, September 10–12. I’m happy to talk about your firm’s resiliency challenges and strategies … maybe over a game of badminton?