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The Three Things Business Leaders Should Know about Organizational Resilience

As a result of the Great Resignation, the few staffers aware and interested in organizational resilience at your organization might have cycled out. The question now for senior leaders is, what do you do to achieve organizational resilience? Fortunately, there’re some generic best practices you should internalize. Here are the three things business leaders should know about organizational resilience.

1. Senior leaders must be committed to organizational resilience

The most important thing business leaders should know about organizational resilience is the disproportionate role they play in achieving it.

What do we mean? Resilient entities that can absorb and adapt to the changing (business) environment while continuing to deliver on objectives have top management committed to enhancing organizational resilience.

More specifically, senior leaders at those firms understand the attributes of organizational resilience. As a result, they’re committed to pursuing the following resilience-enhancing activities:

  • Providing adequate resources to enhance the organization’s resilience
  • Finding mechanisms to ensure those investments are appropriate to the organization’s internal and external contexts
  • Developing appropriate governance structures to achieve the effective coordination of organizational resilience activities
  • Investing in systems that support effective implementation of organizational resilience activities and arrangements to evaluate and enhance resilience in support of organizational requirements
  • Pursuing effective communications to improve understanding and decision making

Download An Executive’s Guide to Organizational Resilience Standard ISO 22316

2. Resilient organizations share important information and knowledge

Of course, not all responsibility for organizational resilience rests with senior management directly. After all, even with the best leaders, not much can get accomplished without the right information getting to the right place at the right time.

To make that happen, top management will have to encourage the sharing of important experiences.

Information, knowledge, and learning must all be valued, as well. They must be recognized as critical resources to the organization.

And efforts must be made to extract important learnings from all available sources.

3. Resilient organizations resource resilience-enhancing assets

Indeed, knowledge and information must be created, retained, and applied through established systems and processes. Processes, here, include the sharing of relevant information in a timely manner with relevant interested parties and (then) applying it in organizational learning.

Business leaders, however, must first invest in the right knowledge-sharing resources. Those resources include people, premises, critical event management software, and other technology assets.

Beyond that, the following activities should be fully resourced, to help achieve organizational resilience:

  • Taking appropriate decisions on resourcing and capacity diversification, replication, and redundancy to avoid single points of failure and respond to incidents and change, so that core services are maintained at an acceptable, pre-determined level
  • Selecting and developing employees with a diverse set of skills, knowledge, and behavior that can contribute to the organization’s ability to respond and adapt to change
  • Developing an ability to identify and respond to changes in a flexible manner, including modifying and redeploying capabilities, arrangements, structures, activities, and behavior to adjust to new conditions
  • Routinely reviewing the suitability, availability, and allocation of resources, taking account of the impact of any changes in the organization and its context

Those three attributes of organizational resilience only scratch the surface, though. And in this age of escalating critical threats, senior leaders must understand them all. For a deeper dive, download our executive’s guide to organizational resilience.

Download An Executive’s Guide to Organizational Resilience Standard ISO 22316