4 Steps to building better organisational resilience through collaboration

4 Steps to building better organisational resilience through collaboration

In today’s volatile, uncertain world, only a resilient organisation can deal with both incremental and sudden changes or disruptions.

By Philippa Chappell, Manager: Advisory Services, ContinuitySA

Most organisations are starting to understand the need for organisational resilience and that it is made up of three components: anticipate, adapt and respond. However, few understand fully the importance of integrating them in order to achieve the best results—or how to drive the collaboration this entails.

Each of these three critical components is the responsibility of a different role-player within the organisation. The anticipate component, which involves scoping the threat landscape and putting a risk strategy in place, is handled by the Enterprise Risk Management department. Adapt, which focuses on operational resilience, would be governed by the COO and the business units concerned. Response is addressed by the Business Continuity Manager and covered by the business continuity plan.

Whatever the change or emergency, ensuring the organisation is resilient enough to handle it will require all the relevant role-players to act in concert. Only then would the risks be understood properly, the operational vulnerabilities and contingencies be dealt with, and the proper responses put in place.

Four key levers can be used to drive better collaboration, and so improve efforts to build organisational resilience:

  • Align each component with relevant international standards and best practices. Each of these three areas will have ISO or similar standards. Aligning to them will ensure that their information and processes are not contradictory.
  • Create an integrated management structure. Typically, each of the three areas will be governed by a separate board or executive committee. It is critical that some way be found of coordinating these committees. Cross-membership is one way, or alternatively a central committee could be established.
  • Develop a corporate culture of organisational resilience. If the organisation as a whole understands what organisational resilience is, and why it is so important, the various component programmes will really begin to gain traction.
  • Use technology wisely… and innovatively. Many technologies can be used to improve both how each programme is managed, and in a crisis itself. For example, SharePoint and OneDrive can drive workflows, while newer technologies like Office 365, Slack and Yammer can improve collaboration. In a crisis What’s App can be invaluable. In addition, leading business continuity providers like ContinuitySA are bringing business continuity apps to the market in order to make business continuity plans immediately accessible and more user-friendly.