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Beyond resilience: towards antifragility?

David Hillson (The Risk Doctor Partnership, Petersfield, UK)

Continuity & Resilience Review

ISSN: 2516-7502

Article publication date: 2 May 2023

Issue publication date: 13 June 2023




This opinion piece draws on the author's experience as a thought leader and expert practitioner in risk management to explore possible routes to applying antifragility in the organisational context, drawing on three metaphors from outside the business domain. Organisational responses to stressors have focused on the development of robustness and resilience. Recent global events have highlighted weaknesses in both these approaches. Antifragility might prove to be a valuable addition to the organisational armoury, but little progress has been made in finding practical implementations of the concept since it was first proposed over 10 years ago (Taleb, 2012).


Distinctions between robustness, resilience and antifragility are clarified. Descriptive analogy is used to expose ways in which antifragility might be implemented in practice, by comparison with three disparate metaphors.


Antifragility is currently not well understood or implemented, but it offers a potentially powerful additional organisational strategy in response to stress, to complement more traditional robustness and resilience approaches. Drawing on the three metaphors, four distinct types of antifragility are outlined which suggest how organisations might begin to develop antifragility in practice: innate antifragility, adaptive antifragility, rheopectic antifragility and emergent antifragility. These are presented as an organisational antifragility taxonomy that can support further research and practice.


The use of metaphor to explore antifragility is unique, providing insights into ways it might be applied.



Hillson, D. (2023), "Beyond resilience: towards antifragility?", Continuity & Resilience Review, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 210-226.



Emerald Publishing Limited

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