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Steps to improve business resilience

What is business resilience?
The concept of business resilience has been attracting a lot of attention recently; and with businesses across Ireland preparing for the changes that will be brought about from Brexit, improving resilience has never been more important. Business resilience can be described as an organisation’s ability to anticipate, prepare for, respond to and adapt to change and disruptions that occur in the business environment. If a business can successfully improve its resilience, this will ultimately protect its ability to reach goals and objectives, regardless of the unexpected events and changes that take place.

There are 3 key areas through which resilience can be enhanced:

1. Leadership and strategy
Establishing a core vision and translating a well communicated strategy is crucial. Everyone in the organisation needs to understand the core vision of the business and be accountable for delivering the proposed strategy. Building a vision for resiliency begins with the recognition and understanding of the vulnerabilities an organization faces, and an analysis of the potential impact of those vulnerabilities on the business. A resiliency plan should be tailored to the organization’s industry-specific business elements and processes, existing infrastructure, current and desired business models.

2. Operations
In order for an organisation to be resilient to change, operational resilience must be established. Your people, processes and systems must be able to effectively react to sudden disruptions and changes that occur. Operational resilience can be strengthened through identifying the potential crises that could affect your business and grading these risks according to the impact they would have and then implementing a strategy to mitigate and manage the risks. Constantly reviewing the way in which your operation works to assess whether it is up to date, will ensure that resilience is established. As well as finding solutions to problems, it is important to identify opportunities, as this will give your company the competitive advantage it needs in preparing for change.

3. People
Finally, your employees and their skills are crucial to the resilience of the organisation. Investing in your workforce is the best step forward. Skill levels, employee turnover, job satisfaction, training and learning opportunities should be carefully monitored. Providing people with the tools and skills required to adapt to change will contribute to improved resilience. Ensuring that people are engaged with the programme of change, and keeping them motivated will reap dividends for any organisation.

My Advice
Resiliency planning should be viewed as a continuous process. As the market is constantly changing, the things that affect your business will also change, and therefore, so will your businesses points of vulnerability. Integrating resilience planning into the overall strategy will ensure the appropriate measures are taken for the company to be able to survive and prosper.