Resilience in Action: Leading for Resilience in Response to COVID-19

BMJ Leader


Barton, M.A., Christianson, M., Myers, C.G., & Sutcliffe, K.M. (Published online ahead-of-print). Resilience-in-action: Leading for resilience in response to COVID-19. BMJ Leader.


Resilience matters now more than ever in healthcare, with the COVID-19 pandemic putting healthcare providers and systems under unprecedented strain. In popular culture and everyday conversation, resilience is often framed as an individual character trait where some people are better able to cope with and bounce back from adversity than others. Research in the management literature highlights that resilience is more complicated than that – it’s not just something you have, it’s something you do. Drawing on research on managing unexpected events, coordinating under challenging conditions, and learning in teams, we distill some counter-intuitive findings about resilience into actionable lessons for healthcare leaders.