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Publisher's Summary

Katrina. Haiti. BP. Fukushima. The Great Recession. Those are just a few of the catastrophic disruptions the world has endured in recent years. As we try to respond to such crises, key questions arise: What causes one system to break under great stress and another to rebound? How much change can a complex system absorb while still retaining its purpose and function? What characteristics make it adaptive to change?

Through original reporting ranging across disciplines including finance, neuroscience, oceanography, and social psychology, the authors explore how in answering these questions, the new science of resilience can help our institutions become more sustainable, enduring, and humane in the face of cataclysmic events. Provocative and eye-opening, Resilience sheds light on the multifaceted nature of change and gives readers access to cutting-edge tools - developed by the leading thinkers of our time - to help us adapt to an ever-evolving world rather than fall prey to its unpredictability.

©2012 Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy. Recorded by arrangement with Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. (P)2012 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

"In an increasingly complex world, we can't avoid shocks - we can only build better shock absorbers. This is a brilliant exploration of how best to do that, told with compelling examples and stories." (Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief of Wired, best-selling author of The Long Tail)
"[Helps] us all understand the importance of planning for the future, even when it means giving up some short-term gains." (Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, author of Predictably Irrational)
"Smart and sophisticated, this is a landmark work in a new field. If you are part of a system that wants to avoid collapse, read this book." (David Eagleman, Neuroscientist, author of Incognito and Why the Net Matters)

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  • Doug
  • Austin, TX
  • 07-18-12

Totally Misleading Title

The title should have been "Disillusionment: Bizarre Behavior From the Fringe"

This is not a book about resilience. It is almost about the opposite. The author focuses on individuals, societies, and species that have NOT adapted well to modern world and he details the exhaustive efforts required to sustain them. At one point, the author suggests that during the housing market collapse in 2008, world bankers should have colluded to keep ALL the bad banks afloat. Collusion for crisis-avoidance is NOT resilience.

The book looks at people who design elaborate schemes to solve very local problems that simply do not apply everywhere. Although these people are admirable for sure...they are the exceptions and their complicated measures could never be applied to six billion people. And ultimately, their story is not what I signed on for when I bought this book. Spend your credit somewhere else.


Aside:
True resilience occurs DURING a crisis in ways you or I could not imagine. Resilience emerges from untidy and terrible circumstances. It???s dark and traumatic. Resilience stands out in that NOT all survive the crisis (literally or figuratively). Resilience cannot be simply programmed into everyone like a line of computer code. The author???s true aim is for everyone to be programmed as resilient to avoid future calamities. It???s a paradox. To achieve this, the author begins to confuse resilience with CONTROL OF RESOURCES. To achieve THAT, he would also need to eliminate disagreement and opposing viewpoints over the use of those resources. Avoiding a crisis is NOT resilience. It???s the antithesis of what CREATES resilience.

Unpredictable things are just that...unpredictable. Even the most extreme preventive measures are vulnerable to the same unpredictability and failure.

Building a Maginot Line to save the Titanic is not the answer.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Andy
  • Westport, CT, United States
  • 08-09-12

crowdsourcing and symbiosis in nature and humanity

Super narration! Resilience does a great job of laying out the benefits of crowdsourcing and symbiosis in nature and humanity. Tons of great examples of what prevents total catastrophe, as well as strategies for rapid recovery when things go wrong.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Slow at Points, But When it's Good, it's Good!

I found this book almost disturbingly slow and downright boring in the beginning, and indeed at certain points further along. It was way too long-winded, and talk about belabouring the obvious! However, some very very cool insights and pieces of information eventually popped out, which made the listen worthwhile. An oft very enjoyable writing style, plus excellent narration - both of which got better and better as the book progressed, also made a big difference. I am very happy that I stuck with it, as by the end, I actually loved the book. At some point I may acquire the hard copy to savour the good bits again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Some stories seem like they never end

Some of the stories in this book possess so much resilience that they go on incessantly. As if they are about to end and they somehow recover themselves and rebuild on their own. I love the fact that the author tells stories but some are overdone.

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  • Ingrid
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 08-18-15

Lots of info, appreciated & was inspired by the examples

There's a lot of good information in this book and it offers much food for thought I'm going to have to listen to it again. I wish they would give a discount on buying the hard copy or Kindle once you've purchased audible. The book flowed and I enjoyed it.

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Great read for corporate military & civic leaders

If you could sum up Resilience in three words, what would they be?

Holistic; Sustainable; Credible

What other book might you compare Resilience to and why?

Imagine and Your Brain at Work - brings together several disciplines to better understand behavior and insight.

What does Sean Runnette bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Great at adding life to the stories through different accents and compelling story-telling.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, needs to be spread out over time - deep messages that require deeper contemplation. Good to review chapters - this is a layered book best consumed in several iterations.

Any additional comments?

A thought-provoking book that looks at resilience from a very holistic perspective. A great read for corporate executives looking to increase their resilience and agility in the face of change. It's an equally great read for military and civic leaders hoping to spur cooperation in the face of terrorism or natural disasters. It strips individual and collective behavior to its core - the biological underpinnings of basic human emotions and their impact on trust and cooperation. <br/><br/>It shares some unique perspectives on the power of diversity and holistic thinking and why its is more sustainable and resilient than insular or tribal thinking. It gives us glimpses into rationalization in game theory outcomes, hypothesizes potential reasons for the failure of Wall Street tycoons to cooperative in the face of a global economic crisis, and inspires with stories about the power of crowd-sourcing in the face of natural disasters like Haiti. <br/><br/>Anyone who reads this book can't help but broaden their thinking. Despite deep dives into highly technical concepts such as mortgage-backed securities or biological diversity, I encourage readers to persevere - the reward is well worth the discomfort of the temporary mental gymnastics required to grasp these concepts and see how they are interconnected.

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  • Richard
  • Port Perry, Ontario, Canada
  • 11-28-12

Forget the strongest survive, it's the resilient.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Great book especially for business thinkers.

What other book might you compare Resilience to and why?

Comparable to "Switch: How to change things when change is hard" by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Which scene was your favorite?

There were a few memorable stories but the one that recounted the story when bankers had to decide whether to save Lehman Brothers or not was great. Also the whole story of one mans quest to save the orangutan through various methods was inspirational as well as thought provoking.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. It was one of those books that one wishes to pause at certain break points to ponder what one read. It was a book I went back and listened to again.

Any additional comments?

With the current world economic and environmental conditions, this book gets right down into the foundation of resilience, a skill worth having.