A Good First Step Toward Organizational Resilience…

Michael D. Moberly   August 10, 2010

Broadly speaking, organizational resilience encompasses a management systems approach that simultaneously focuses on prevention, protection, preparedness, response, mitigation, continuity, and recovery from disruptive incidents.  And, for the skeptics, organizational resilience is not merely a warmed over version of (conventional-traditional) business continuity and contingency planning.

An organizations’ ability to quickly, efficiently, and effectively adapt to change and uncertainty (risk) that are so pervasive in today’s globally competitive business (transaction) environment, is certainly being ratcheted up on management team and board agendas as a necessary and priority action item.  In organizational resilience parlance, changes in policy, market forces, environmental factors, and the vulnerability, probability, and criticality associated with materialized risks, i.e., natural, intentional, or unintentional, etc., all fall under the (business case) rationale why today’s companies require a level of resilience that fits their respective market, industry sector, and business transaction environment.  Recovery oriented (adaptive, proactive) company resilience strategies can no longer be dismissed or relegated to merely being ‘after thoughts’.

The first step toward achieving organizational resilience puts the onus on management teams and boards to literally identify (recognize) the unique elements and features that are embedded and sometimes very much under their company’s radar.  In other words, what makes their company successful.  I offer this in the context that I have yet to engage a management team or board that does not hold the view that every business/company, including theirs, possesses nuanced and otherwise unique features that contribute to its success and sustainability.

Why is this necessary?, it’s because the components (elements, features, processes, practices, etc.) that define a company’s uniqueness are essentially the foundation for identifying a ‘resiliency strategy’.  A resilience strategy commences with identifying/determining ways which a management team and board can measurably improve the degree to which a company, in the context of its respective business environment, is adaptive and able to quickly recover from significant disruptions, materialized risks, and/or significant changes in the business (value-supply chain) environment.

Executable strategies that improve a company’s level of adaptability and timely recovery from disruptive events include ensuring certain (executable) processes are in place that impose (carry) specific demands and functions, as a well informed management team and board dictate so the company can remain viable for the duration of the adverse – disruptive event.

(This post was inspired by the work of Gregg Goble, Howard Fields, and Richard Cocchiara of IBM’s Resilient Business and Infrastructures Solutions unit and the work of Dr. Marc Siegel, ASIS.)

The ‘Business IP and Intangible Asset Blog’ is researched and written by Mr. Moberly to provide insights and additional views for company management teams, boards, and employees to aid in identifying, assessing, valuing, protecting, and profiting from their intangible assets.  I welcome and respect your comments and perspectives at [email protected].




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