How to increase organisational resilience

With all the upheaval these past couple of years have seen, resilience is a word we’ve all become a bit more familiar with.

Times of uncertainty and change can test even the most robust organisations, and resilience is often hard to measure until you need it. So, how do you make sure your business has enough resilience, not just to adapt and survive, but to thrive?

What is organisational resilience?

Resilience within a business is all about being able to adapt, often at speed, to manage challenges to your business, and even seize the opportunities they present. It’s about being responsive and remaining competitive in the face of pressure, and learning from the experience.

Resilience is something that becomes more robust over time, and it’s not a ‘set and forget’ business function. It’s a good idea to make regular checks on parts of your business that impact your ability to adapt in times of uncertainty.

Know your ecosystem

Being able to flex and shift your business to accommodate changing external factors is all about being prepared.

Staying connected with other people, organisations and industries helps you keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening “out there.”. Think of it as having a constant radar scanning for information that may impact your business. Talking to those in different industries or who have different skills and backgrounds will give you fresh perspectives and insight that may help your business be more prepared for change.

Know your people

Ensure there is a system in place for regular one-to-one connections with your staff. This helps make sure you know everything they are working on, but also any strengths and interests they may have outside their official job descriptions. Invest time and resources in their professional and personal development. Not only does it help develop loyalty but will ensure you know the full extent of the skills and talents you have to draw on in times of change.

Know your mistakes

Every time your business faces a challenge, makes a change or finishes a key project, a structured review process can be invaluable. Consider inviting an objective third-party, external to the organisation or to the project being reviewed, to facilitate good constructive communication. The point is to work out what you learned, and what you’d do differently next time and make sure those findings become part of your strategic planning.

Adapting in times of change can feel like laying tracks in front of a moving train. By paying regular attention to the things that affect your resilience you can feel confident those tracks will get you where you want to go.