Tuija Janakka

Co-founder, Bravemotion

Eva Wathén

Co-founder, Bravemotion

Salla Aaltonen

Office Manager, Collector Bank

Quick Key Points

  • The concept of resilience is taking a central role in modern business
  • Resilience is considered to be a key driver for business growth during tough times
  • We need to avoid ‘thinking traps’ that can get in the way of high functioning


The Finnish concept of sisu – a word with no direct English equivalent – comprises grit, determination, bravery, hardiness and resilience. Sisu is part of Finland’s national character and has been credited with carrying the country through some historically significant moments, including The Winter War.

But what does resilience really mean in the modern context?

Resilience has played a significant role in the personal and professional lives of millions across the world over this past year. As our abilities to thrive during global health and economic crises have been put to the test, resilience is also taking a central role in modern business operations and strategy. Five- and ten-year operational plans have been drawn up, while entire industries have been upended by the consequences of Covid-19 restrictions and new ways of living and working.

Eva Wathén and Tuija Janakka of Bravemotion are business consultants who consider resilience to be a key driver for business growth during tough economic climates. Their company is a Finland-based consultancy specializing in resilience and culture training for organizations,

In January, Bravemotion and Collector Bank, which offers financial solutions for companies, co-hosted an inspiring event on personal and team resilience for Amcham’s Women’s Network. They presented an introduction to resilience based on scientific research and proven tools, while a workshop provided a taste of the full-length coaching, consulting and learning services that Bravemotion offers its clients.

So, what exactly is resilience according to the experts?

  • It’s an ability to thrive despite adversity
  • It’s having a positive disposition to changes and challenging events
  • It’s maintaining a ‘growth mindset’ despite hardship

It’s a quality that can be developed at the individual and team level and that provides a host of tangible benefits:

  • Better stress management
  • Increased creativity and innovation
  • Higher job satisfaction and productivity
  • Improved physical well-being
  • Increased positive emotions and optimism

Bravemotion also highlights some common ‘thinking traps’ that get in the way of high functioning during times of adversity. For example, when people are relatively isolated while working from home and without a constant flow of communication, it’s easy to make assumptions and ‘read the minds’ of colleagues before starting a dialogue. This can lead to ineffective collaboration. People also tend to lose their sense of hope when similar companies and industries around them decline rapidly or share troubling news publicly. Losing hope can cause anxiety and an inability to focus, directly impacting productivity and innovation when it’s needed most.

Eva and Tuija suggest four methods to tackle common thinking traps: rely on evidence and facts; take a new perspective; plan in advance; and challenge your thinking. New ways of thinking and behaving can become routine by following a structured coaching program and through regular practice.

Collector Bank Office Manager, Salla Aaltonen, told us her own story about personal resilience in the context of work. Describing a tumultuous day in which almost everything that could go wrong actually did, she recounted her ability to stay in the moment and confront each challenge effectively. Salla acknowledges that staying level-headed and approaching situations with a focus on solutions rather than problems is key to organizational success, especially in the eyes of clients and prospective customers.

This solution-focused orientation is finding its way to the forefront of board room strategy, as the fast pace of technological advancement and shifting consumer behavior demands that companies can change quickly too. Resilience training and business culture development from companies like Bravemotion will become increasingly beneficial for these reasons.

Curious about resilience and organizational culture development? Check out Bravemotion’s website to learn more.