If we want to maintain awareness about our industry, and perhaps one day even raise it to the level of a profession, then we need to focus on creating new knowledge and improving our craft all year round – not just 1 week of the year.
Perhaps the most useful (in my humble opinion) contribution this week was published with minimal fanfare by the Australian Government and its Resilience Advisory Group. I have previously posted about their Organisational Resilience position paper.
The new publication is a Research Paper by Dr Robert Kay of Incept Labs, entitled “CEO perspectives on organisational resilience“. It is available free from the Trusted Information Sharing Network site. This is the research that Rob presented at the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Conference in Sydney the week prior to BCAW, and will be presented again when he delivers the annual BCI Lecture in Sydney on April 4th.
The research is based on interviews conducted with over 50 CEO’s. Rather then generate yet another definition for resilience, the research instead presents the concept of resilience as it is perceived by these CEOs.
“This paper represents a synopsis of the CEOs’ views on what OR is; why they think about it that way; and the value proposition for pursuing resilience in their organisations.”
These perspectives are distilled into 3 concepts of resilience – which are suggested as possible steps on a maturity scale;
- an effective business as usual capability
- the ability to change and adapt, and
- the ability to actively shape the environment of the organisation
The core strength for resilience flows from being able to execute BAU efficiently and effectively. If you cannot do this well in the good times, then you will struggle to cope with disruption. All things needs to be taken in moderation, and a BAU operation that is too finely tuned to stable operating condition may not have the the resources to deal with disruption.
The Change & Adapt concept is about being able to proactively respond to a disruption, which may come form physical events or market changes. Developing this capability is seen as fundamental, and it is enabled by promoting an appropriate culture.
Shaping the environment has to become a capability in itself, it is not about re-inventing yourself once – but something you are able to continue doing.
Even if you are not interested in new thinking, or the academic aspects, there are a couple of self-preservation aspects you want to read about.
First, and this will come as a shock to many, Business Continuity Planning was not seen as a key activity that supported resilience preparedness. Scenarios & Simulations are the #1 preparedness activity, followed by Training, Communication and Strategic Planning.
- Just a word of warning, scenarios and simulations are not a plan walk thru or exercises of recovery procedures.
Second point of self-preservation. Number 1 key internal stakeholder to support resilience is the HR Department, not BC.
- No need to be surprised, resilience is a cultural and strategic challenge.
The paper contains some detailed analysis of the characteristics of a resilience culture and the organisational environment that will support the emergence of resilience behaviours.
- The number 1 cultural characteristic is Trust – not compliance or procedure following.
If you want to improve your relevance to Executive and the Board, then study this research – don’t just read and discard it.
I have been writing about the importance of culture to the concept of resilience for the past 18 months, here is the most recent post in the series on Culture and Resilience – ironically about “resilience as learning”.
Would love to hear other people’s views on this research, please jump in and comment.