Where does the word resilience come from?

WORDS-WORTH: Originally a scientific term, resilience is what you need in difficult, uncertain times.

by John Morrish
Last Updated: 20 Jul 2016

Resilience is a prized quality, both in organisations and individuals. It was originally a scientific term, taken from the Latin verb salire, to jump, and first used in English by the Jacobean experimenter Francis Bacon.

The 'resilience' of a material is its ability to return to its original shape after being compressed or stretched.

In the 20th century, developmental psychologists began applying it to children's ability to deal with trauma.

Now it is a useful management concept, describing an organisation's ability to deal with change without getting bent out of shape - and staying that way.

Credit: Nick Shepherd

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