Enterprises must prepare for unpredictability and change after the last few years of pandemic-related complexity, increased threats to operations, and supply chain disruptions. If businesses want to improve resiliency, they need to modernize their approach to emergency preparedness by embracing new technology and lessons learned.
In recent years, business leaders have been frequently reminded of the interdependence and unpredictability of economies, businesses, and societies. Unexpected events have harmed business reputations, the workforce, supply chains, and markets.
It’s no surprise, then, that resilience is at the top of the priority list for many leaders. More resilient enterprises had better outcomes, and some even emerged as new winners, as witnessed with COVID-19. Leaders must go beyond the immediate needs of areas like disaster response and business continuity to create a resilient organization that can survive both constant change and unexpected upheaval.
The Need for an Integrated Resilience Strategy
The ability of an enterprise to have control over its resources is at the heart of organizational resilience. Enterprises, however, require complete visibility into their information and operational environments to achieve such a level of control.
Maintaining visibility is more complex than ever in a world of highly distributed computing, continuously changing market dynamics and an increasingly complicated technology environment. As a result, many businesses suffer from a silo mindset, wherein a lack of cohesive corporate culture and an integrated technology environment makes sharing critical information difficult, if not impossible.
Creating a Resilient Business
Leaders can adopt the following strategies to create systemic resilience within their organizations.
Adopt a More Comprehensive View of Resilience
It is crucial to consider resilience as a strategic opportunity as much as an operational necessity. Leaders must build resilience into each business function by evaluating the consequences of lost or diminished functioning and developing a customized response.
Create a Core Competency in Crisis Management
While defining plausible scenarios is beneficial, leaders cannot truly forecast every potential source of disruption. As a result, businesses must establish strategies and teams that exercise situational awareness and help the company respond, communicate, and recover.
Maintaining operational resilience requires a solid and well-defined plan. To achieve the goal of crisis readiness, both developing capacity to predict elements of a rising crisis and developing strategies to deal with unforeseen factors are critical.
Practice is Key
Even the most battle-hardened leadership teams can benefit from practicing a crisis response. Leaders must pick a plausible situation and simulate it with their team, stakeholders, board of directors, and employees. They must set aside time to address the critical decisions and actions that the organization must take to minimize the impact of disruptions.
They should practice providing crisis communications messaging to each necessary audience, particularly stakeholders. They need to make it a point to practice often and think about handling multiple disruptions at once.
Leaders Must Be Vocal Champions for Resilience
Systematically adopting resilience necessitates a cultural shift. It can be challenging to overcome the over-fixation of short-term efficiency embedded in business education, backward-looking metrics, workplace culture, and misaligned incentives. Leaders must reinforce the transition by promoting resilience and institutionalizing the lessons learned from recent disruptions.