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Building resilience capabilities at “Big Brown Box, Inc.”

Liisa Välikangas (Professor of Innovation Management at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland and the author of The Resilient Organization, How Adaptive Cultures Thrive Even when Strategy Fails, New York: McGraw‐Hill, 2010 (
A. Georges L. Romme (Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands (

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 29 June 2012



This paper aims to contend that to achieve the resilience needed to thrive long‐term in a dynamic, highly competitive marketplace companies need to commit to continual customer‐focused agility training.


The paper uses “Big Brown Box Inc.”, which is a disguised case about a real company's practices and experiences.


The paper reveals that training for resilience involves mastering three strategic management practices: cultivating foresight, rehearsing non‐routine behaviors and building an experimentation‐oriented community.

Practical implications

The takeaway from the Big Brown Box Inc. example is that all companies need to continually exercise their operational resilience to prepare for setbacks and the maneuvers of rivals.


The paper reveals that the rehearsing and training exercises needed to develop resilience will help an organization learn how to proactively engage in exploration and experimentation.



Välikangas, L. and Georges L. Romme, A. (2012), "Building resilience capabilities at “Big Brown Box, Inc.”", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 43-45.



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