Resilience Reimagined: A practical guide for organisations

Resilient organisations thrive before, during and after adversity

Resilience has been pushed firmly toward the top of the agenda for boards and senior management teams. How can resilience be developed? Who does it well, and what can we learn from them? What are the practical steps necessary to strengthen resilience for long-term success? As a leader, what more could you do to develop resilience for your organisation?

Our latest report jointly commissioned by the National Preparedness Commission (NPC) and in partnership with Cranfield University helps to address these questions.

Key learnings from the report

Our research found that many leaders traditionally relied on a systematic process to assure themselves and their boards that they have taken reasonable steps to build resilience. Typically invested in a system of standards, including enterprise risk management (ERM), business continuity management (BCM), crisis incident management (CIM) and disaster recovery (DR). The hope is that these systems could help predict, prevent, and protect the organisation from threats and help the organisation bounce back from disruptions and crises.

However, the next crisis might be very different, and another government bailout may not be forthcoming. Therefore, they will take more responsibility for their resilience and invest in future resilience now.

A new model for resilience

Our research identifies seven future resilience practices.

Discuss future failure to avoid complacency and instil ‘futures thinking’. Ask what if? Ask what next? Encourage your people to speak up. Learn more

Consider the connections between the ‘five capitals’ (natural, human, social, built and financial) to understand the potential impact of disruption on your stakeholders, your organisation and on wider society. Learn more

Understand what is important to your stakeholders and to society, the ‘essential outcomes’ (EOs) that require a high degree of resilience. Learn more

Set impact thresholds for EOs to determine tolerable limits that should not be breached, considering the impact on all five capitals. Learn more

Make strategic choices about resilience interventions by balancing: control, agility, efficiency and innovation. Learn more

Conduct stress testing to determine whether you are able to remain within your impact thresholds irrespective of the threat. Learn more

Enable direction, alignment, and long-term commitment to resilience through a culture of adaptation and empowerment. Learn more

The ‘five capitals’ model

Leaders are starting to recognise that resilience is necessary to achieve their purposes and obligations concerning all the components of the system in which we live. We identify these as the five capitals: financial, human, built, social and natural, along with their interdependencies.

The model can help organisations consider what needs to be done to maximise the value of five capitals, manage ‘trade-offs’ (for every severe but plausible scenario) and avoid weakening them.

Measuring resilience

Many organisations express the desire to measure resilience. The drive to justify the investment and monitor the success of resilience programmes is gaining urgency. How would you measure your resilience (health)? Is there one measure or a series of measures that you would use?

Our research identifies seven future resilience practices. These practices can help organisations to achieve better readiness, more responsiveness, faster recovery and greater regeneration (the 4Rs of resilience).

Explore the report today

The report brings coherence to the approach necessary to develop, assess, and improve organisational resilience. However, every organisation is unique. One solution doesn’t fit all. This report will help leaders make the unique and necessary choices to achieve organisational resilience in the context of their organisation. We offer new ways of thinking to help organisations self-assess their current resilience and chart their improvement journey.

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