How Resilient is your Organisation to Disruptions & Distraction in the new world order? – Part 2 – LogiSYM October 2018

Part 2 – Deploying a program to achieve a Resilient Culture.

Synopsis from Part 1 – {published in August/September 2018 issue} in part 1 of this article we explored what is Enterprise Resiliency and how critical it is to identify and assess the vulnerabilities in our organisations. When such an assessment is completed, we need to follow-up to render the core systems, processes and people structures robust in their normal operation mode. An organisation that is considered Robust is able to defend itself against disruptions and minimise the impact of distractions. The time an organisation takes to re-organise itself and sustain the necessary business continuity after an abnormal incident, is known as Enterprise Resiliency. Enterprises Resiliency, “is only as strong as its weakest link”.

The more we learn of how an Enterprise can from embracing a resilient culture can deliver, the more we should be determined to deploy such a culture in our own environment. Understanding the fundamental concepts and having the awareness of the consequences of not being resilient, is the easier part of the puzzle. The hard work is in the planning, development and deployment of a program necessary to achieve Enterprise Resiliency.

As we have discussed, a Resilient Culture is the encapsulation of several elements. To achieve this state of Resiliency requires many singular actions. The collective formation of these action creates the capabilities which render an organisation resilient. There is no a single nor magical program that will deliver such result.

Simulating Assumptions to understanding Resilience

To start this journey of realisation, we need to build a simulation model. Such a model will help the principal players to understand what are the key elements of risk. It will also help identify where the risks come from and what are the potential consequences. The model will however require the players to establish some important assumptions.

The realistic and qualitative assumptions used for a simulation model, will also determine how closely an organisation can emulate the disruptive and distractive factors it could possibly face. This emulation will be a valuable contributor in the review and preparatory process.

However one should not over exaggerate situations or assumptions. Over complexified conditions can be good to stretch the scenarios for simulation, training and preparedness. But if the simulation is too complex it will become very difficult to develop, sustain, test and actually activate when the plan needs to be invoked.

Building Enterprise resiliency within an organisation whether large or small will require a combination of many ingredients. Strategy, Policy, Processes, Systems & People working in a synchronised & structured manner is fundamental. All important and well known business elements will form the backbone of such a process essential to making the model realistic.

But it is Process Discipline that will be most crucial to developing a culture of resilience. This element has to be enabled by People. This is key to Developing & Sustaining an Enterprise Resiliency Culture which can also serve as a strong defensive tool within the business.

Fundamentals to a Resiliency Culture are Capabilities and Process Discipline

There are two pillars that are fundamental to building a resiliency culture. They are Process Control Discipline and People Adaptive Capabilities. These can only be initiated and developed with enlightened and focussed leadership. It is only through a coherent driven culture that an enterprise could successfully fend off disruptors and distractors that are likely to be detrimental to it’s business continuity capabilities.

There are 2 distinct cluster groups that can summarise the key characteristics and the principal criteria to develop a resilience driven culture.

The process disciplines provide the backbone for structure and method. This approach enables the development of a robust framework that is measureable and adjustable.

The behavioural aspect of the culture, is derived from the capabilities that people in the organisation can contribute to the overall resiliency of the Enterprise.

There is no prescribed combination of which elements in the respective clusters will be more effective than others. But what is important is the combination that is right for the Enterprise that is developing their own model of resiliency culture which is suited to each environment.

How do you achieve Enterprise Resiliency ?

Having understood what it takes to create a resiliency culture, developing the competencies and building an agile organisation is the starting point. Such an all encompassing approach should energise the organisation and excite people to embrace the this important initiative.

Looking ahead, the challenge will be sustaining the freshness and regenerating the momentum of the initiative. Maintaining the competencies and sustaining the agility in a positive environment, is a fundamental consideration of such a program. People can be easily excited but also easily distracted away from the program, especially when things get tough.

This is where leadership for such a type of program is fundamental. Whilst the ownership for enterprise resilience belongs to every single person in an organisation, it requires focused and visionary leadership to carry the program through.

Leadership is a critical ingredient to drive such a key program. To update the business scenarios, engage the organisation coherently, innovate the capabilities and sustain the culture across the whole organisational perimeter are essential elements for success.

Resilience is not something that can be turned on and off when required. It is like a virtual capability that an organisation creates. It is embedded in the way people think, communicate and interact with others to carry out their responsibilities but working in a coherent structure.

This virtual culture is a very a powerful asset to have. It will implant that resiliency mind-set in the organisation and will prove invaluable when faced with crisis that come from disruptions. However this asset needs to be nurtured and continuously developed to remain relevant to the Enterprise, as well as t the changes in landscape around the Enterprise.

How does agility and resiliency interplay in this aspect ?

We talk a lot about agility, yet few really understand how to manage this across a muti-function, multi-location and multi-national organisation. The best description of Organisational Agility is,

The capability of a Company to rapidly change or adapt in response to changes in the market. A high degree of Organisational Agility can help a Company to react successfully to the emergence of new competitors, the development of new industry-changing technologies, disruptions and distractions, or the sudden shifts in overall market conditions”.

The characteristics of an Agile Organsiation are clearly a desirable enabler to achieve Enterprise Resiliency. However the next questions is, how do we achieve this agility ?

Agility in an organisation is manifested in the behavioural traits. We could explain this by comparing the behaviour of a Reactive Approach versus a Pro-Active Approach.

I have summarised the typical behaviours we see in the reactive and pro-active scenarios.

Concluding comments

Building an Enterprise Resilient Culture that is able to respond, defend and apply corrective actions in the organisation, is a key to survival in today’s business environment. The elements required to develop and sustain such an important asset are many and complex.

The summarised overview in this paper is merely an appreciation of a new dimension in the challenges of leadership. The pro-active behaviours and virtual capabilities that are required to be embedded in an organisation to be successful, are evident. But these charaterictics and capabilities also play very critically roles in the other factors in business management.

This article, I hope will provoke leaders to ask key questions of “Who do I need on my team versus “who would I like to have on my team ?” and “ Who do I need to drive and sustain such important asset ?” versus “Who shall give this task to ?”

To Develop and sustain an Agile and Resilient Culture is not a one-man show. It requires a lot more. It requires an investment in people, investment in good leadership and sustaining of good business governance.

“The fact is that from time to time we are going to fail: it’s an inevitable part of living that we make mistakes and occasionally fall flat on our faces.

The only way to avoid this is to live a shuttered and meager existence, never trying anything new or taking a risk. Few of us want a life like that !”

The Transformational Management Process

For a CEO or Business Entrepreneur, the need-for-change is a very likely and necessary step for their business development and sustainability. However starting a journey of transformation within their organisation can be hugely daunting.

Founder of ESP Consult, Joe Lombardo, has co-authored & published several papers to show how an integrated Adaptive Supply Chain Business Model can work for you.

This introduction to Enterprise Resilience, illustrates that it is not as complicate or as expensive as it may seem. But the rewards and benefits will be significant.

ESP Consult has used this model to facilitate and successfully implement Adaptive Supply Chain driven organisations. For those involved it has been an enlightening and motivating experience.

Joe Lombardo
Founder of ESP Consult

Joe Lombardo has advised CEOs on change management through a supply chain focus.
The need for change is a very likely and necessary step for their business development and sustainability. However, starting a journey of transformation within their organisation can be hugely daunting. This introduction to a transformational journey illustrates that it is not as complicated or as expensive as it may seem. But the rewards and benefits will be significant. ESP Consult advises on structuring the model to facilitate and successfully implement Adaptive Supply Chain driven organisation. For those involved, it has been an enlightening and motivating experience.