What is business resilience?

Business resilience is defined as the ability of an organization to absorb and adapt in a changing environment, to enable it to deliver its objectives and to survive and prosper.

The core values of business resilience include:

  • Adjustment of behavior to meet a shared vision and goal
  • The ability to absorb, adapt and effectively respond to change
  • Good governance and management
  • Having a diverse set of skills, knowledge and experience represented in the organization
  • Efficient risk management

Business resilience vs. business continuity – What is the difference?

Even though the terms business resilience and business continuity share some important parallels, they are not the same thing.

Business continuity ensures that an organization successfully and timely delivers resources, products and services during disruptive times. Business resilience, on the other hand, is an organization’s ability to deal with stress, recover and thrive when confronted with altered circumstances.

To ensure that a business survives these challenges and hardships without serious damage, there should be a business resilience as well as business continuity strategy in place. Until recently, establishing such plans had not been a priority for most companies. However, during the pandemic, the importance has become much clearer to many organizations.

Why is business resilience a priority?

Every business will face challenging and uncertain events at some point. For business to prosper, organizations have to anticipate, prepare for, respond and adapt to possible changes and disruptions. Having mechanisms and coping strategies in place to survive setbacks without serious interferences makes a business resilient.

Businesses might suffer blows such as:

  • Natural disasters
  • Pandemic threats
  • Economic disruptions and market stirs
  • (Cyber) crime
  • Technological failure
  • Strikes and civil emergencies

Ideas for business resilience planning

  • For a start, the threats and risks that could face an organization should be established. These risks can range from problems concerning supply chain orders to loss of critical staff. How will the business ensure that such hardships do not critically influence the availability of products and services? What strategies should the business implement and which resources should it provide?
  • In case of a major disruption or disastrous event, can the company track the availability and safety of all employees?  What training is needed to prepare employers for such a scenario, and which safety measurements should be implemented? Businesses should also consider how to put safety strategies in place after a major event is over.
  • The longer a business suffers from challenges and critical events, the greater the risk for financial loss will be. Business resilience planning should consider which processes and people are most essential for a certain operation. Then plans can be established to restore these functions as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Want to learn more about the topic of resilience? Check out our posts on Why Resilience is important and What Resilient Teams have in common.