Businesses today operate in a world characterized by a breakneck pace of change and evolving risk landscape. As major global events, crises, and little-foreseen “eventualities” materialize more rapidly, they greatly impact business strategy and operations. Without a backdrop of predictability and stability, previous strategic planning assumptions become moot, and questions around change and “what’s next?” become critical.
How businesses anticipate and adapt to “what’s next?” is now inextricably linked to their survival. That’s why resilience is a core, strategic imperative that impacts all parts of the organization. And that’s also why it’s time to revisit what resilience means.
The evolution of resilience
As times have evolved, so has the notion of resilience. Over a decade ago, it was often data-centric and synonymous with a thick, hard-copy business continuity plan that was feverishly drafted and rarely consulted (more frequently doubling as a doorstop). In more recent years, though, businesses have successfully taken an operational approach to resilience — addressing stressors that impact their products and services, data, technology, cybersecurity, facilities, and supply and demand.
To thrive in today’s highly dynamic environment, it’s important to broaden that approach even further, in a more holistic and proactive way. A new report from Deloitte, “Deloitte’s Global Resilience Report: Toward True Organizational Resilience,” outlines the importance of organizational resilience — elevating resilience to become a core part of who the business is.
As stated in the report, organizational resilience is defined as: “The capability of an organization to be prepared for disruption and to adapt and thrive in a changing environment. It isn’t purely defensive in orientation. It is also progressive, building the capacity for agility, adaptation, learning, and regeneration to ensure that organizations are able to deal with more complex and severe events and be fit for the future.”
The report shares findings from a Deloitte survey of 700 board members, executives, directors, and senior leaders with accountability or responsibility for resilience or crisis management within their organizations. It highlights that while senior executives recognize the need for more forward-looking, proactive, and strategic approaches to resilience, there’s also a struggle to develop and implement them within their organizations
The five capitals of resilience
Deloitte’s report also outlines five key capitals of resilience, all of which contribute to and are encompassed in organizational resilience. Because a deficiency in one or more of these capitals can destabilize organizational resilience, it’s important to prioritize and balance investments across each of these domains:
Now more than ever, organizations face the need to elevate their resilience agenda: both structurally — in terms of accountability and ownership — and also culturally, integrating resilience principles throughout the business.
Far from a “one-and-done” and “check-the-box” proposition, achieving organizational resilience is a continuous journey that entails: