It’s good to have some. With physical items, it’s easy to calculate the optimal level of reserves. We use stock turn-over, catastrophic loss or risk tolerances to determine adequate levels.

With non-physical resources, science is much less exact. How resilient should we be when the business just isn’t working? How long do we keep training with an injury that needs time to heal? How many tasks do we pile on the plate before we run out of capacity? How do we produce creative, unique work when we are under pressure for prolonged periods?

The great thing about these reserves is that we usually have much more than we realise. Storehouses linger beneath the surface waiting for crises to reveal our true potential.

The trick is, those reserves work like a credit card. You have to pay it back at some point. If you max it out, you will bear the consequences.

It’s great to have one. Chronic use is not sustainable.

Fabian Blank

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