Organizational Resilience…Try Framing It As A Strategic Roadmap!

Michael D. Moberly   August 3, 2010

In today’s ‘go fast, go hard, go global’ business transaction environment, management teams and boards are less inclined to dismiss or characterize materialized risks and business disruptions as merely being embarrassing events or short-lived inconveniences. 

In large part that’s because of recent events, ala BP, Massey Coal, Toyota, Wall Street, etc., coupled with a re-consideration (appreciation) for the speed which negative events can occur or certain risks materialize and literally cascade throughout an enterprise to irreversably infect and adversely affect what matters most to company’s operating in ‘intangible asset’ dominated economies, i.e., their  (a.) brand, reputation, image, and goodwill, and (b.) supply – value chain!

That, in my view, is sufficient rationale for management teams and boards to initiate organizational resilience planning, quite apart from conventional business continuity-contingency planning.  But, to further serve a company in 2010, 2011, 2012 and beyond, its useful for management teams and boards to conceive – frame their organizational resilience planning initiative in the context of a ‘strategic roadmap’ to achieve business goals and objectives absent impediments and/or interruptions. 

The strategic roadmap would of course also include achieving a level of (enterprise) preparedness sufficient to effectively (1.) mitigate, counter, defend, and manage certain risks, and (2.) enable a company to recover from adverse events and/or materialized risks more speedily.

The heart of an organizational resilience program, in my view, lies in framing-conceptualizing a ‘strategic roadmap’ that includes effectively designed ‘infrastructures’ that are operationally resilient to the ever growing array of risks and vulnerabilities by being able to perform, at minimum, two broad, but essential functions under duress, i.e., (1.) safeguard supply – value chains by ensuring an acceptable level of preparedness and functionality exists so a company may continue to produce-deliver goods, services, products, etc., for the duration of the adverse event, and (2.)  enable a company to return to an acceptable level of operational normalcy as rapidly as possible.  

Company infrastructures are increasingly complex and nuanced however, and routinely consist of numerous disparate components and inter-dependencies, which, in most instances, extend well beyond a company’s conventional walls or perimeter by virtue of what seems to be ever evolving, dynamic, and converging chains of suppliers, distributors, partners, customers, and other stakeholders, that presumably converge to achieve (the company’s business) goals and objectives. 

Too, by framing organizational resilience planning in a ‘strategic roadmap’ context, it elevates management team and board ‘buy-in’ by bringing more clarity and insight to company exposures and vulnerabilities to certain risks, particularly within the supply – value chain.

(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, written, and produced by Mr. Moberly to provide insights and additional and sometimes alternative 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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