“Resilience” is the next evolutionary phase of business continuity. What is resilience and how does it differ from traditional perspectives on organizational response to disruptive events?
Resilience helps businesses take continuity principles out of their silo and integrate business continuity with all disaster recovery and emergency preparedness initiatives for a stronger response to any threat.
Resilience builds upon the concepts of preparedness and recovery by focusing on how businesses can maintain their usual operations in the face of unexpected disasters. Resilience focuses not just on how to get back to business after something goes wrong, but on how businesses can position themselves to protect their brand equity, their resources, and their staff from threats in the first place.
Like continuity, resilience focuses on preserving the processes and procedures that help businesses survive unexpected threats. Recognizing that businesses operate in an environment of continuous change, resilience focuses on how to best preserve value in these complex environments.
Oftentimes, businesses focus on disaster recovery in terms of assets yet overlook one of the largest enterprise assets—their staff. To really respond when something goes wrong, staff must understand their roles and responsibilities so they can carry out continuity plans.
The pressing demands of the global economy have changed things for businesses. Now, companies need to get back online as quickly after a disaster as possible or they risk suffering business or reputation losses. Thus, crisis management and business continuity are critical after a disaster.
Resilient crisis management focuses on raising awareness, developing a set of strategies, and educating team members about roles and responsibilities in a crisis. Businesses must have plans in place for everything from a hurricane or flood to a bomb threat, active shooter, and employee strike. No matter the crisis unfolding, the enterprise needs clear communication channels and chains of command to allow for the best possible response to the situation as it unfolds.
Once the crisis is stabilized, resilient continuity principles help the business return to normal operation while minimizing stress and losses. If a flood renders the first floor unusable, continuity principles can outline temporary relocation, staff notification, and all the other tasks that must happen before staff can get back to work. If a shooter arrives on site, continuity can ensure the site is locked down and all managers receive notification of the emergency while seeking to get the authorities onsite to neutralize the situation.