The three pillars of organisational resilience
The megatrends are a collection of macroeconomic conditions that are creating a exceedingly challenging environment for businesses today. To avoid the fate of well-established but failed businesses like Thomas Cook or Edinburgh Woollen Mill, companies need organisational resilience.
Resilient companies weather unexpected challenges, while adapting proactively to the changes that can be predicted.
How can organisations build resilience?
In our view, organisational resilience is not just about ‘belt and braces’ risk management that can stifle creativity, innovation and growth. It’s about creating an environment where every single employee is alert to potential threats and has the power to do something about them. This creates the stable foundation on which sustainable high performance can be built.
Creating such an environment requires an organisational culture that promotes psychological safety, teamwork and personal resilience, but it also takes guidance from business leaders.
These leaders can boost their organisation’s resilience by pursuing these behaviours:
- Anticipating – Understanding and being open to what the future may hold
- Prioritising – Understanding what really leads to success and focusing resources accordingly
- Optimising – Making sure that everything within the organisation, including systems, processes, procedures and people are fit for purpose
- Empowering – Allowing those with the most expertise to make the decisions regardless of power-struggles or hierarchy
- Coordinating – Creating networks and collaborating both within and outside of the organisation
- Noticing – Picking up on the small errors and anomalies that often get ignored or accepted
- Sense-making – Looking beyond the obvious or self-serving explanations to explore alternative perspectives and solutions
- Learning – Reviewing and adapting in order to learn from good and bad performance