Business Resilience in the time of Covid – 19.
In the physical sciences, resilience is a term that describes a body’s or material’s resistance to stress or deformation. Nonetheless, the notion of resilience spread in the 1970s and 1980s, and it is today employed in domains such as biology, psychology, economics, sociology, and ecology.
In a broader sense, and notably in relation to the human sciences, resilience can be defined as a system’s ability to regain its starting condition and/or regular functioning after being disrupted by one or more disturbing elements. The term “resilience” is used in ecology to characterize ecosystems that have persisted to function despite adversity.
Concept of Business Resilience
Business resilience refers to an organization’s ability to quickly react to shocks while continuing to operate normally and protecting people, assets, and overall brand equity. Business resilience is a broad word that encompasses crisis management and business continuity and refers to an organization’s ability to quickly adapt and respond to a variety of risks, including natural catastrophes, cyber-attacks, and supply chain interruptions.
Business resilience extends beyond disaster recovery by providing post-disaster solutions to avoid costly downtime, shore up weaknesses, and keep businesses running in the event of future, unanticipated breaches. Business resilience begins with the knowledge that is necessary for businesses to endure unexpected occurrences and to protect workflows. The human factor, in which personnel in a chaotic environment must be prepared, is an often-overlooked challenge of business resilience planning.
Why is Business Resilience important?
Business resilience is defined as the ability to quickly adapt and respond to business interruptions while safeguarding people and assets and continuing to operate normally. Following a disruption, business resilience planning gives guidelines for guaranteeing personnel’s capacity to respond, resume, and restore to a pre-determined level of operation. The bottom line for facilities management business resilience is to allow the customer to complete their goal. Business resilience planning has the potential to make or break your company.
Identifying core functions
Identifying core functions and prioritizing what must be done in times of crisis is the foundation of business resilience planning. Because they are the least flexible, resilient businesses have protected their critical and time-sensitive business functions.
It’s critical to understand which functions, resources, and individuals are required to keep your organization running, as well as what can drive you out of business. Establishing an acceptable minimum level of operations is an important part of effective business resilience planning. Understanding your vulnerabilities is a vital step in establishing a resilient firm so that you can prepare to stay in business.
enables businesses to respond swiftly
Business resilience may have never been more crucial. It enables businesses to respond swiftly to disturbances, maintain uninterrupted operations, and protect people, assets, and brand equity. Organizations that are resilient are better positioned to weather economic downturns and volatility. With the current economic climate, many businesses have realized that having a disaster recovery plan in place may help them safeguard their cash flow and balance sheet and set them apart from their competition.
While business resilience and business continuity are sometimes misconstrued, both require firms to adopt a holistic approach to the risks they face and design strategies to eliminate or mitigate them. It should cover a variety of topics, including as business continuity, cyber security, crisis management, and disaster recovery. Business resilience attempts to break down the silos that have historically divided these functions and bring them together for their better advantage.
COVID-19 and Business Resilience
The sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic sent shockwaves around the world, causing an unprecedented health catastrophe that has had a significant impact on how we live and work. Production and supply chains have been disrupted as a result of measures such as social isolation and travel restrictions, exacerbating a demand shock. However, there are CEOs of resilient firms who efficiently adapt to these changing circumstances in the middle of this pandemic.
Business resilience, of course, differs from one organization to the next. Some businesses can thrive in difficult circumstances by focusing on their core competencies, adding additional personnel, and extending their operations. During COVID-19, supermarkets and delivery services, for example, fell into this group. Technology companies have also benefited by offering software or hardware to assist the large migration to remote working that has occurred as a result of various governments’ lockdowns.
Manufacturers, for example, have been able to pivot and provide crucial products like hand sanitizers, ventilators, and personal protective equipment for frontline health workers by transforming their products. During the crisis, foodservice and hospitality businesses had to reinvent themselves, with many now offering simply delivery or selling straight to customers.
Building operational resilience for a post-COVID world
A business resilience strategy can give firms the tools they need to mitigate the damage caused by unforeseen catastrophes. It is critical that businesses take the necessary steps to protect as much of their business as possible and begin the recovery process as soon as feasible. The strategy should coordinate many aspects of the company’s operations to ensure that employees can respond to the crisis, maintain current workflow, and resume any productivity procedures that have been affected. This is far more than merely having cash on hand.
After COVID-19, the companies are now more focused on Business resilience, and the following changes have been made.
More better Response Plan
Many companies were taken off guard by the unprecedented magnitude of the COVID-19 outbreak and the speed with which it spread, leaving their response plans inadequate. Companies have always been preoccupied with the ‘here and now and hence have neglected to plan for resilience. Such efforts may be seen as a drain on their resources, an extra cost that rarely yields a satisfactory return on investment (ROI). This may alter, especially in the short term, in light of the human and economic losses suffered by COVID-19.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, it was difficult to gain C-suite buy-in to secure the necessary funds for business continuity and risk management. COVID-19 may shock businesses into improving their business resilience, but the financial obligations may cause them to return to short-sightedness in the long run. It believes that if things get back to normal, there will be an increase in demand for resilience planning services.
Companies can try to win the support of the C-suite and change perceptions about resilience and continuity by calculating the overall cost of a business resilience program, the probability of a disruptive event occurring, and the amount of revenue at risk by calculating the overall cost of a business resilience program.
COVID-19 reaction recommendations
Businesses will be evaluated in real-time based on how they handle the problem, their behavior, and their strategic decisions. A well-informed answer can help to establish trust and brand affinity, but poor decisions can damage a company’s reputation.
1. Assemble a team of people you can trust.
Assemble a crisis management team of key decision-makers, including, but not limited to, leadership and strategy, operations, human resources, communications, and corporate affairs, legal, and risk management. Allow the team to make and implement choices quickly.
2. Evaluate your present plans and capabilities.
Perform a rapid examination of any business continuity or contingency plans that are in place or have been activated. Because the situation is fluid and rapidly changing, internal and external assumptions will have changed, requiring plans to be updated and capability gaps to be overcome.
3. Take advantage of timely intelligence
Gather up-to-date and correct information from reputable official sources and specialists to maintain situational awareness. Distribute the business-critical information to your colleagues and encourage them not to get sidetracked by media hysteria.
4. Respond to an agreed-upon rhythm with intention.
Ascertain that your company’s response follows the leadership’s lead:
Waiting for new decisions or actions to be dictated by external causes is not a good idea.
Localized decision-making should be kept to a minimum.
5. Recognize your exposure to third-party risks and their consequences.
Examine your network’s dependency on third parties, their vulnerability to failure, and potential viability implications. Extend this risk assessment to their supplier networks if possible. These issues may have commercial ramifications, such as contractual liability for unforeseen expenditures, delay penalties, termination risk, insurance coverage limitations and exclusions, and force majeure.
6. Maintain open lines of communication with employees, vendors, and customers.
Engage your employees in a continuous conversation about the steps you’re taking to safeguard and support them. Engage suppliers in order to correctly identify the most significant risk exposures and collectively establish mitigations.
Through clear and consistent messaging, keep consumers and other external stakeholders informed and encourage confidence in your company’s resiliency.
7. Create or improve your crisis response plan.
Ascertain that all functions, sites, or nations in your network are aware of the firm’s crisis management strategy and reaction methods. Assist teams in determining who is in charge of decision-making and communication at the executive level.
COVID-19 will undoubtedly have an impact on future company resilience planning. For starters, there is a compelling case to be made that future pandemics are unavoidable. Pandemic planning and coordination units should be established within enterprise risk management (ERM) departments. To jumpstart a company’s pandemic response, the unit should be able to call on medical, communications, IT, telecommunications, and security skills.
We won’t know the entire impact of the COVID-19 problem on human existence or the global economy for some time due to the nature of the crisis. Companies must be prepared for the worst until a vaccination becomes widely available and life returns to normal.
Meanwhile, they should prepare for the next crisis by developing emergency response protocols and mapping their risk and operational awareness. When business operations are disrupted, business resilience planning allows firms to adapt to a “new normal,” preserving business operations while protecting their people, data, revenues, and reputation.