Building a resilience programme and getting c-suite support

Posted May 21st, 2012 in Uncategorized by gavin

We are seeing more and more organisations keen to move towards a holistic resilience programme but getting the full-buy in from the c-suite can be tricky. I recently saw a webinar presented by Lyndon Bird, Technical Director of the BCI about selling BCM to the c-suite. A lot of what was said can work for resilience too. If you would like to watch the webinar/presentation this can be viewed at

Some of the points revealed through the presentation:

  • When asked how interested the board is in BCM – 37% agreed that the board is more interested in the organisation being resilient  than the specific methods and techniques employed to achieve this
  • When linked to strategic thinking 54% of the board become interested in BCM

What this tells us is that the board are more interested in the value of resilience than how it is achieved and that linking resilience to its strategic benefits is what the board will see as a benefit to the business.

Resilience is an organisational goal to improve planning, respond adaptively and create opportunities. This allows organisations to gain strategic advantage over the competition and possibly improve the bottom line.

So talk their language, link to business strategy and understand that now is the right time to focus on resilience.


Creative Destruction and Resilience?

In response to a tweet from @bounceforward – “Creative destruction means allowing/ensuring organisations (or part thereof) die, in order to move forward… discuss”.

Creative destruction is a term used to describe how continuous innovation and competitiveness lead to a kind of natural attrition where businesses (or parts of businesses) that can no longer adapt to the changing business environment are allowed to decline and die out.

In reality the consequences of creative destruction can be quite devastating for the people involved – people loose their jobs, major employers move out of the area, local economies suffer, regional trade balances can shift and organisational legacies die. However there is also a silver lining to creative destruction, resilient organisations can choose to embrace it! A resilient organisation is still a business at the end of the day, and their aim is to make money. As a result they may choose to allow a part of their business to fail but if they are truly resilient, this will be on their terms.

This argument is summarized further by a theoretical discussion which comes to mind. Dervitsiotis (2003) presents a model where organisations’ performance is represented by a curve. If you can imagine the curve as a normal bell-shaped curve, the organisations’ performance grows steadily and then declines. However a resilient organisation will choose to jump to the next performance curve before its current curve declines and therefore strive to achieve higher levels of performance. This can be seen from the curves on their model below.

A diagram of Dervitsiotis' Edge of Chaos Model

Dervitsiotis (2003, p255)

In this model, the point at which the organisation chooses to abandon its current performance curve to jump to the next one, is itself creative destruction.

Dervitsiotis, K. N. (2003) The Pursuit of Sustainable Business Excellence: Guiding Transformation for Effective Organisational Change. Total Quality Management, 14(3), pp. 251-267

Network Luton

Posted January 18th, 2011 in Uncategorized by gavin

The Stephenson Resilience team shall tomorrow be at the local event Network Luton. We look forward to meeting some of the local businesses representing our area.

Hopefully see some some of you there.

Strong business case for resilience

Posted January 12th, 2011 in Uncategorized by amy

This is a great piece from the Guardian about how severe weather, including the recent flooding in Queensland Australia, provides us with a strong business case for resilience. The article highlights issues including:

  • interdependencies between networks and resources
  • the fragility of infrastructure
  • climate change planning
  • the use of force majeure in contracts
  • how the effects of an event can spread along supply and value chains (focusing on the mining industry as an example)
  • steps that companies can take to mitigate risks

To see the full article please click here

How resilient is your supply chain?

Posted January 4th, 2011 in Uncategorized by amy

Happy New Year!

With the recent cold weather, organisations’ supply and value chains were tested once again. How many processes, products, services or functions that your organisation relies on were affected? You know the story, the snow begins to fall and all of a sudden staff can’t make it to work, the postal service can’t make all of its deliveries and power, roads, rail networks and transport networks are down.

But should we tolerate it? and do we have to?

If your organisation is resilient snow should not be an immovable object but a creative challenge and possibly a springboard to innovative solutions which could be applied in other circumstances. So how difficult is it for staff to get to work during snow? A statistic taken from put it into perspective – “in one affected town last week only 62 percent of employees made it to work – but 87 percent of self-employed people did”. Given this information it is important for us to consider the cultural characteristics of an organisation which contribute towards its resilience. Of course there are times when it really is too unsafe to travel but exactly how hard did most people try to get into work during the recent snow?….my guess is that many took one look out of the window and then another and the travel news.

In answer to the second part of our question, do we have to tolerate it? – no we don’t! It’s all about expectations and planning, and making both clear to all staff all of the time. Over the past few years we’ve all come to realise that in the UK we are likely to have some snow each year which will cause a certain level of disruption. Taking that as a given we can:

- Continuously review weather reports with HR and supply issues in mind as the snowy season approaches

- Talk to staff about what problems they might have in getting to work BEFORE the snow actually arrives

- Encourage staff to identify alternative routes and methods of transport, not just for our benefit but for their own safety as well

- Offer incentives (actual and cultural) for staff who persistently put in extra effort to reach work even in snowy conditions

- Plan and PRACTICE REGULARLY arrangements for working from home where possible

- Identify the impact of snow or weather related disruption and identify any budget spend which would represent a saving if spent reducing downtime

So all is not lost, we do not have to tolerate the current level of disruption caused by snow.

Website launch

Posted December 6th, 2010 in Uncategorized by admin

We have just launched our website but if you think we may have missed something out or would like to contact us about your resiliency needs please comment or drop us an email.