How Resilient Is Your Organisation?

Organisations are interesting entities. Operating in ever changing environments, most adapt and grow, moving with the flow and ebb of change and – whilst others fail to notice that any
08 Sep 2014 09:15

Organisations are interesting entities. Operating in ever changing environments, most adapt and grow, moving with the flow and ebb of change and – whilst others fail to notice that any change is occurring at all.

Either by design or merely through evolution, many organisations operate effectively in environments that appear to be stable or predictable.

Whilst things are good, they remain steadfast.

Whilst advantageous in those situations, this leaves them vulnerable in uncertain and ever changing times, as they fail to recognise and negotiate the roadblocks that change often brings.

Some company owners use the same systems, processes and methods to run their business as they did 30 years ago.

A few (and they still exist!) continue to capture data and information using manual systems – writing information into journals, credit and debit ledgers and using outdated technology.

With the rapid changing status of technology and its impact on all businesses around the world, it is critical that organisations rise to meet new and ongoing changes – or they will struggle to survive.

The term ‘organisational resilience’ is widely used by many consultants, managers, bureaucrats and politicians in an attempt to encapsulate a complex multidimensional concept under a single banner (World Economic Forum, 2008).

Key considerations in organisational resilience

Organisational resilience is not one thing. It is complex and multi-dimensional and so is the result of a range of different factors. An organisation can be resilient in one area (such as manufacturing) but not in another (high staff turnover).

Resilience is an outcome. If all aspects of a business are assessed and good practise and procedures put in place that allows adaptability to changing circumstances, resilience is the result.

Resilience is ever changing. The world does not stop; neither does the environment, customers’ demands or environmental challenges. Resilience is the ability to adapt and rise up to meet these challenges. Resilience is about adapting to changing circumstances and the ability to recover when challenges occur.

Resilience is based on good risk management in all areas of the business.

Models of Organisational


There are many and no one model fits all. According to The Australian Journal of Emergency Management Volume 25, No 2, April 2010, some include the Integrated Functions model, the Herringbone Model and the Resilience Triangle model.

Research them on the internet if you require more information.


Looking after your company, ensuring its ongoing survival and sustainability and ensuring its resilience is a key component of highly performing leaders.

Leaving an organisation’s ability to function well ‘to chance’ and ‘hoping for the best’ when facing threat and adversity is both irresponsible and unintelligent if you are in the position of running an organisation.

In addition, getting all staff on board to look at ways of protecting the company is a strategic approach to enhance organisational resilience, which is an outcome of all different factors, as described.

– Caryn Walsh is Business Leader, Strategist and Psychologist, Founder of Pure Magic International Training Solutions, an international organisation that implements people and leadership development programmes. it works with USP, The Reserve Bank of Fiji and Aviation Terminal Services (Nadi).


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