Building a Resilient Organisation

Posted on July 10th, 2024 by Vanessa Thurlwell

Sun TZU, in The Art of War writes that:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

This quotation highlights the importance of understanding our organisations and the environments in which we operate.

In an era of accelerating change, we need to be resilient as organisations, communities and individuals.  Disciplines such as Risk Management (RM) and Business Continuity Management (BCM) form a key part in many organisations’ governance frameworks, but often these are done only for compliance purposes as a “tick box” exercise and very seldom provide value nor would enable resilience.   Our organisations also need to have the right culture to embed these structures and to be confident in being responsive to risks and seizing opportunities, being responsive to market changes, regulatory changes, stakeholder expectations and achieving dependable results while dealing with the expected and unexpected.

We need to know the enemy and know ourselves.  We need to understand external and internal factors which could influence the risks and opportunities that we may face. There are a wide range of resources that we can use to understand these factors that could have an influence on our organisations. In addition to organisation or industry information, media and reports, other publications can assist us.   Annually, the World Economic Forum (WEF) publishes a Global Risk Report, as well as the Institute of Risk Management and Allianz Commercial.  In our risk discussions and assessments, we need to use available information to determine areas that may influence our risk profile.  Some of the key issues highlighted by these reports include:

We need not fear the result of a hundred battlesResilience is an integrating concept that allows multiple risks, shocks and stresses and their impacts to be considered together in a particular context.  Resilience is about unity and cohesion and collaboration with a common vision and desire to achieve positive outcomes.

These are some of the characteristics of resilience that we need to establish:

There is a road to resilience that we need to follow.  We cannot just wave a magic wand and have a fully implemented and embedded Risk Management programme that mitigates all risks and seizes all opportunities. It also does not mean that we are not going to experience difficulty or distress.

Through effective RM and BCM and a mature risk culture, we can capacitate ourselves and our organisations to be able to collaborate and discover practical and creative solutions to respond to challenges and be better able to identify and pursue new opportunities. All enabling organisational resilience.

Vanessa Thurlwell – Vanessa stands at the forefront of risk management as a Senior Risk Consultant at Mondial Business and Risk Consultants and a director of Mondial Knowledge Solutions. She is also a faculty member on the SBS-ED Risk Management Online Programme.

Posted in EDTalks, Resilience | No Comments