Resilience: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.
How resilient is your company? If the last year has shown us anything, it's to expect the unexpected. Companies who can be agile, adjust quickly, and recover from unforeseen events are the ones with staying power.
Risk doesn't just come from pandemics or politics, even if those have been the primary driving forces behind this year’s upheaval. It can also come from not adapting to technology, failure to ensure employee safety, climate change, and more.
Here are five ways your company can work toward increased resiliency.
Companies don't run themselves, structures don't build themselves, and there's a person behind every purchase.
If your business is going to weather any storm, it will do so on your people's courage, innovation, and passion. Investing in and engaging with employees is key to driving your company forward.
- Prioritize employee safety and wellbeing
- Encourage a positive atmosphere
- Be a role model of the behavior you want to see
- Reward the traits you want to see more of
Lastly, put yourself in your customers' shoes. Your customers aren't just buyer segments with wallets; they're real people with real needs, wants, and pain points. If you are suffering during an unexpected event, you can bet your community is too.
"Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems." - Gever Tulley
Plan for the Unexpected
You can't always plan for every possible scenario possible. Not many businesses prioritized having a pandemic plan in place before 2020, but you can bet most do now.
See the Business Pandemic Planning Checklist from the CDC.
Review and upgrade continuity and crisis management plans for scenarios created by outbreaks. Consider how to mitigate the potential impact of reduced sales, workforce shortages, and reduced revenues.
"It's your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how your life's story will develop." - Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Be the Leader Your Team Needs
In an unexpected crisis, leadership is crucial. Leaders need to stay involved and curious about the situation. Your team will only be as flexible and confident as you are.
- Anticipate: you can't plan for every crisis, but a solid risk management plan is a foundation for many adverse situations.
- Adapt: flexibility and agility are the keys to survival when things get turned upside down.
- Act: be decisive and act rapidly to prevent business disruption and loss of people and revenues.
"Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again." - Nelson Mandela
Use Data to Drive Decisions
Business risk is ever-changing -- and your company's operations should evolve as a result.
Making the wrong decisions can not only hinder operations, but it can also create serious financial challenges. Luckily, you don’t have to rely on chance or hunch to make the right decisions before, during, or after a crisis.
Taking a data-driven approach to decision-making is a critical factor in building resiliency.
"No matter how bleak or menacing a situation may appear, it does not entirely own us. It can't take away our freedom to respond, our power to take action." - Ryder Carroll
Proactively Address ESG Issues
Including environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues such as climate change, water scarcity, and human rights in your risk management planning is crucial for business survival.
ESG issues such as climate change, water scarcity, and human rights abuses can affect your company. Risks arising from ESG issues could negatively impact business objectives and lead to missed opportunities.
But it's not enough to plan for a possible ESG liability issue. Taking responsibility for your company's role in environmental health is critical to reducing the likelihood of a future crisis.
Part of resilience is preparing for the future. And that includes taking steps to protect and preserve the local environment.
"On the other side of a storm is the strength that comes from having navigated through it. Raise your sail and begin." - Gregory S. Williams