This is the #1 lesson that management guru Rosabeth Moss Kanter offers from her observations of 2010.
There are two of her 5 lessons that I think are very relevant to our discussion of resilience.
In her blog post “5 Lessons from 2010 worth repeating …“, Kanter’s first lesson is;
- “Surprises are the new normal. Resilience is the new skill.”
- She continues to add that “Backup plans are strategic assets.”
- I would read backup plans here to mean any form of contingency plans (for the IT purists out there)
I guess everybody was surprised by the Volcanic ash impact (not on anybody’s risk register) and Deepwater Horizon – specifically BP’s inability to manage the message.
Here is a really important piece of marketing collateral for you
Following on from my earlier post about the need for selling skills, it is time to build your Risk/BC marketing material.
There is a good chance your Executive will have heard of Professor Kanter, and using her words to support the cause of improved BC/resilience may gain you some traction.
Executives are more likely to take note of what people such as Kanter say than they will of a subject matter expert who is unknown outside the Risk/BC fraternity.
If you do not already have one, start to compile a file of examples such as this that you can use to support a business case, or just to influence people in your organisation to treat risk/BC as something they should take seriously.
Resilience also needs innovation
Kanter’s lesson #2 is also relevant to resilience.
- “Innovation takes courage and the willingness to be out in front rather than following the herd.”
The only way you can follow the herd about resilience is to just change the title on your business cards.
To actually “do” resilience will require getting out in front.
More importantly Kanter highlights that innovation requires creativity. Again that means getting out in front, rather than blindly following a standard or ‘best practice guide’.
She refers to her earlier post on the value of improvisation rather than blindly sticking to the script. A really essential skill when you are surprised by the nature of the disruption.
I posted about this back in October. A good reason for you to follow my RSS reviews!
Learning to improvise is learning to be adaptable – a key attribute of becoming more resilient.
Just re-enforcing my earlier assertion that we need to look for emerging and novel practices and metrics for resilience. Appreciate your views.
Do you have a Risk/BC marketing file? What’s in it?