During the week (26 November to be exact), The Times (UK) distributed a special supplement published by Raconteur, entitled “The Agile Business”. This is something I probably would have missed as I don’t live in the UK and even when I am visiting I don’t generally read The Times.
Fortunately I know people who contributed one of the articles and were gleefully engaged in blatant self-promotion on social media – pointing at you Charley Newnham!
Ongoing readers may recall some of Charley’s earlier contributions, published in less prestigious location than The Times. These days you could be forgiven for thinking that Charley works for one of those dating agencies – as the title of their commercial feature article is
“Forward-thinking organisation seeks resilience for long and prosperous future”
Actually she works for PwC – and the graphic above was part of the article as they sought to explain the idea of resilience in an enterprise context. Perhaps the best and most useful part is that they address strategic issues and net out the operational process areas into their neat little boxes, rather than thinking they occupy the entire canvas. Refreshing, as I have recently been at a gathering where resilience was much talked about but rarely understood.
As a commercial organisation I guess they felt obligated to offer a definition of resilience – and this one is useful (if you need to have such definitions) in that it recognises the broader (non-operational) aspects and highlights that it is not just about response and recovery to a crisis or disaster.
“True enterprise resilience is about having the ability and agility to survive, proactively adapt and evolve over a sustained period of time, not just in response to a crisis.”
Agility – the key is being agile, not just “doing” agile – is fundametal to becoming more resilient. Over recent months this has been a particular research interest for me also and is the core of my presentation at the Continuity Insights Management Conference in April 2014. And I agree wholeheartedly with this PwC article – especially the role of leadership (rather than management) and the conflict between visible process-based approaches (too often siloed and competing) and the need for cultural change and investments that go beyond addressing purely robustness and redundancy solutions.
Perhaps my favourite comment in the article goes to the heart of the professional challenge that we all have to confront and acknowledge before we can do more than simply pay lip service to any model of resilience. The quote is from the article, the emphasis is mine;
“in our ever changing world, winners and losers are drawn from those able to see and act upon changing contexts and opportunities, and those who continue doing the same old things.”
Just to be clear – the losers are the ones who continue doing the same old things they have always done – but this time calling it Resilience.
A couple of further references for those who are interested in the subject of true resilience;
- go and look at the bibliography and literature reviews on Charley’s MSc blog
- take a look at the research Dr Robert Kay did for the Australian government and compare that model with the one discussed above.
- From competent execution of BAU to shaping markets, and the primacy of trust and culture.
- My own take on “True Enterprise Resilience” – published by DRJ in the USA.
Do you have a view on what constitutes “true resilience”? Why not, everybody else does?
Would love to engage in dialog with your view, my view or the anybody else’s view! Why not leave a comment.