Understanding the Attributes of Organisational Resilience
As the challenges to organisational resilience mount, businesses must act now to enhance their capacity to anticipate and address escalating threats. What will it take? For one, it will require increasing levels of coordination and integration as well as a better understanding of interested parties and dependencies.
What the best-practice research says about the attributes of organisational resilience
According to experts in the field, there’s no single approach to enhancing organisational resilience. Quite a bit, after all, rides on your company’s unique context and risk factors – both external and internal.
Looking at the literature closer, some general principles come into view, though. These are steps organisations can take to enhance their level of resilience to the evolving business environment.
First let’s define terms: resilient organisations are those able to absorb and adapt to the changing (business) environment. That means they can continue to deliver on the core business objectives that enable survival and prosperity.
Of course, the real test of any company’s actual level of resilience only comes when they are confronted with those shifts in the business environment.
That’s not to say there aren’t ways of testing relative levels of business resilience in more controlled settings. Indeed, these tests are crucial to enhancing business resilience, for when it matters most.
To perform these tests, however, businesses must first understand the attributes of organisational resilience. That way you can effectively measure how close your organisation is to these characteristics.
In a reading of the research, we conclude that the primary attributes of organisational resilience are the following:
- Behaviour in alignment with a shared vision and purpose
- Understanding of the organisation’s context is up to date
- Good governance and management
- Support comes from a diversity of skills, leadership, knowledge, and experience
- Risk effectively managed
- Technical (and scientific) areas of expertise contribute
These attributes might seem abstract. They are important, nonetheless. More to the point, approximating these attributes so to enhance your level of organisational resilience is achievable.
What it takes is coordination. That level of coordination only come from the top.
Senior management, specifically, must be committed to enhancing organisational resilience. They can demonstrate their commitment in the following tangible ways:
- Provide adequate resources to enhance the organisation’s resilience
- Find mechanisms to ensure those investments are appropriate to the organisation’s internal and external contexts
- Develop appropriate governance structures to achieve the effective coordination of organisational resilience activities
- Invest in systems that support effective implementation of organisational resilience activities and arrangements to evaluate and enhance resilience in support of organisational requirements
- Pursue effective communications to improve understanding and decision making
That’s not all. The systems themselves matter, too. How to go about developing effective systems to ensure organisational resilience? Download our guide, 5 Steps to Enhancing Organisational Resilience to find out.