Directors’ Series

Resilience in the face of crisis

Ultimately – all organizations go through crisis. Gone are the days when having a plan in place will avert the event. Organizations that once felt immune to certain risks are taking heed as today’s risks are not contained to a specific sector and can often be unpredictable and unimaginable. What should the board and organizations be doing to prepare, survive, and adapt in today’s evolving risk landscape and what does it take to be resilient in the face of crisis?

Moderated by Richard Olfert, Managing Partner, Regulatory, Quality and Risk & Reputation, Deloitte Canada, the esteemed panel at our October 17 Directors’ Series take on this topic and share their perspectives on the shifting crisis landscape. They zero in on situations and different types of crisis that require boards to be more sophisticated in their responsibility to oversee risk and challenge management. We invite you to view the below clips that highlight the key insights shared during the discussion.

Also available for replay is the full broadcast.

The topic and panel discussion sparked some lively discussions at the 9 participating cities across the country. The following are the key insights shared amongst the groups:

  • There is a high degree of consensus on two key drivers of a good crisis outcome 1) taking ownership of the underlying problem and 2) open, transparent communication. Responding rapidly is of the essence.
  • Crises that unfold locally or regionally are top of mind for directors and they have an intimate knowledge of the challenges they present. For many, they see a role for community or the public sector in confronting them.
  • Scenario planning, tabletop exercises and role assignments, and post crisis evaluations all pay off. However, there is agreement that each crisis is different and common sense must prevail.
  • There is widespread agreement that the misinformation arising from social media is making the communications challenge of crisis management increasingly difficult.
  • Cybercrime needs more attention than it is receiving as a possible source of crisis. Not all boards have the required skills and competencies to play their mandated governance role.
  • Resilience comes from a blend of good process, good talent, and good culture. Integrated risk and crisis management are the keys to good process. Diverse boards and management teams with the right skills and an ability to build trusted relationships are the building blocks of the right talent and culture.

The insights shared by panelists and participants across the country on Resilience in the face of crisis serve as a starter for further discussions amongst your Board, management, and peers. We encourage you to drive the conversation forward! If you would like to offer a comment or require further information, please reach out to us at

Did you find this useful?