Antifragility for Professional Success


Such things grow stronger when they are subject to jolts: they thrive when they are exposed to stressors and volatility.

And if we think about it, as the writer Taleb pointed out, there is no opposite of the word "Fragile", in any language in the world.

The opposite is not "robust", which does not break under stress, but certainly does not improve.

The antifragile improves when subjected to uncertainty and adventure.



What is antifragile?

Let's take the business world: Silicon Valley is antifragile and strengthens itself thanks to the rapid failure of many startups, to allow the few good ideas to come out. Clearly, if Silicon Valley were afraid of failure, they would not be the most innovative environment in the world. Remember Steve Jobs' famous expression "be crazy"?

Nature is antifragile: every shock or change in the environment stimulates it to create forms of life more suited to the new context. Indeed, nature is so antifragile that it invests precisely in uncertainty, buying itself many "options": mutations are nothing but options, certainly not financial options, but still options: only mutations in value survive and improve the species. If that doesn't mean being antifragile!

But even each of us can be deeply antifragile if we want to. And among other things, in this changing context it is very convenient for us to be.

And how can an individual be antifragile?

Let's take mistakes, for example: mistakes are to be loved because they not only give us information about ourselves and what to improve, but they are our main source of development. Think about your lives and the episodes that made you grow the most.


It is not so much the mistake that matters, but what are you doing with the mistake! If you are antifragile, your mistakes end up improving you !!


Here, we can be anti-frail if we learn from falls: technically it is called "post-traumatic growth", which is the opposite of "post-traumatic stress". Who knows why everyone knows about "post-traumatic stress", but in my opinion the concept of "post-traumatic growth" is much more important: here too, look back: each of us has grown above all thanks to falls, and the higher it was the difference in height, the greater the growth ... provided that you clearly survived.


Because antifragility is important from a professional point of view.


Because the world is dominated by what is extreme, unknown and very unlikely, while we continue to deal mainly with secondary aspects, to focus on what is known and repeated: often, on the usual professions.

The future will be less and less predictable and therefore we need to prepare for more eventualities, rather than investing in being ready waiting for predictions that will probably not come true.


Today there is a lot of talk about Unlearning, about an individual's ability to unlearn… this is also linked to the concept of antifragility.


Of course, the ability to let go… and then build on it… sometimes this is the profound change, and an in-out dynamic follows.

Those involved in training today know the importance of unlearning processes.

Coaching often works to eradicate the limiting beliefs we carry within.

Life gives everyone episodes of desired or necessary change, but what would happen if we systematically navigate these moments to explore parts of us we don't know? What if we abandon parts of ourselves to make room for new expressions of being?

Antifragility also means welcoming the episodes that literally "dismantle" us, which make us rethink our deepest beliefs, and an antifragile person is the one who takes note of it and thanks the "crush", because the performance is stronger than before, finally giving her the courage to leave a piece of herself no longer functional to her well-being. The unlearning we were saying!


Wanting to summarize why antifragility is important at work today, what can we say?


Today a type of intelligence typical of that used in video games is required: that is, the agility that leads me to make many attempts and to have a flexible approach; I don't make any decisions that I can't change in the future. We are talking about the agility to change direction based on events, which for the individual is more important than being consistent with a decision made beforehand and which he must then defend at all costs. Today, however, the ability to change "steering" based on what happens is required. It is clear that it is a more dynamic reaction because we live in a faster, more interconnected, digital world.

Here, antifragility is important today at work because it enables us to make these swerves, to implement this dynamic intelligence at work, and with each swerve it makes us more solid as professionals.