Every day human organisations fail. Building Anti-Fragile Organisations explores a powerful alternative framework for risk in the design and management of human systems. Anti-Fragility is a new way of thinking about mitigating risk that builds on earlier work on the characteristics of biological systems that, being more than just robust, actually improve their resilience through being stressed. Professor Bendell explains how applying this concept to the development and management of organisations, services and products, allows us to identify the characteristics that will not only mitigate against the realisation of hazards, but enable growth in protection, strength and anti-fragility over time. In this context, anti-fragility also encompasses flexibility, agility and the exploitation of opportunities. At the organisational level, anti-fragility (or its absence) is determined by the organisational strategy, structure and systems, its people, relationships and culture. The book focuses on establishing the Anti-Fragile concept of the firm, and explores its application in private and public sector organisations of all types. It identifies characteristics relevant to survival in a turbulent world, and how our approaches to risk and governance need to change in order to create and manage anti-fragile organisations. It provides practical insight into the concept of Anti-Fragility and its deployment within human organisations of all types, and give readers the opportunity to start to make sense to applying the concepts within their own worlds.
A well-known invited speaker at conferences and events worldwide, Tony Bendell is committed to making organisations less fragile and more anti-fragile. Tony has had both an outstanding academic career and an extensive professional consultancy role within manufacturing, service organisations and the public sector. A leading figure in quality, productivity, excellence and the public sector transformation movements, he has published extensively, and is principal author of the best-selling Financial Times book Benchmarking for Competitive Advantage, available in six languages. Tony chairs the BSI MS6 Technical Committee, which led development of the ISO 13053 international Six Sigma standard, and is working on a new ISO auditable Six Sigma and Lean standard. He has experience in advising and mentoring senior managers and board members to the highest level.
’This challenging book moves the language of anti-fragility from concept to commercial application; a practical blueprint for surviving the unexpected. It is important reading for all business students and board directors, providing a framework to learn from stress. What does not kill me makes me stronger, Friedrich Nietzsche.’ Jerry Jarvis, business adviser and former Managing Director of Edexcel and BTEC ’This book by Tony Bendell, Building Anti-Fragile Organisations, merits your attention for the thoughtful discussion of what you, as a leader and manager, can do to help your organization better thrive and survive in an increasingly complex business environment. The subject is important, so read it at your leisure, ignore it at your peril.’ David J. Kelly, President, Austrian Foundation for Quality Management ’Tony Bendall has comprehensively researched and analysed the concept of anti-fragility and its implications for organisations and their people. The result is an engaging and timely tour de force which should be required reading for all business leaders as well as students embarking on a career in the corporate world.’ Stuart Ansell, BPP Business School, UK ’So, with the goal of making smarter decisions in mind, the author of this practical study of the concept of anti-fragility, Tony Bendell, proposes a series of principles that acknowledge the non-linear path of events, accepting that volatility and uncertainty are the only certainties. Risk professionals in both the public and private sectors have long been fascinated by the concepts of resilience. Anti-fragility, as unwieldy a term as the very concept it sets out to tackle, has a similar flavour. I expect this book will appeal to a range of business and organisational management professionals, and it references a number of well-established thinkers and programmes within its pages.’ Thinking Resilience, June 2014