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In a recent post by Warren Black, he stated:

"Clearly, organisational resilience in the face of disruption, is not about bouncing back but rather about bouncing forward."

Such wise words!

At The Governance Institute of Australia’s 2019 Risk Forum, I spoke on "Examining best practice for Continuity and Resilience”. The prior keynote presentation “Human resilience — where organisational strength begins” was by Stacey Copas, CEO of the Academy of Resilience in Australia. Tracey has had her fair share of knocks and the words that stayed with me were “Resilience is not just about surviving but thriving”. Stacey is the epitome of that.

Viewing this from an organisational rather than personal perspective, when the dust begins to settle on COVID-19, where will your business bounce? You will either bounce:

  1. No bounce. There will be no bounce and the organisation will not survive.
  2. Bounce backwards. Long term or permanent damage will result. There will be not be a return to the previous state. Business will be curtailed and a new lower norm will develop.
  3. Bounce directly upwards. Recovery will see the business return to its original state back to a business as usual state.
  4. Bounce forward. Recovery will see an organisation stronger and healthier than before.

The question is, which one will you be?

Resilience is not just about surviving but thriving

Here are six questions for you to consider:

  1. What is the inherent risk level of your organisation to COVID-19.

    Industries that rely on, and / or involve, humans congregating and being together have proven inherently very high risk. If these industries also involve non-essential services, they are even more at risk. These include airlines, travel agents, events, restaurants, office landlords etc.

  2. What level of resilience did you have prior to COVID-19 developing?

    How good was your Pandemic, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning prior to this event? How resilient had you made you business to disruption. Were staff already working from home in a rotational basis and had their equipment and connections all checked etc? Was your planning adequate and practical?

  3. How are you reacting to COVID-19 as it develops from an operational point of view?

    How well are you managing the business on a day to day basis including:

    • Managing staff remotely?
    • Managing technology remotely.
    • Managing service and produce delivery remotely and as contactless as possible.

  4. How well are you managing all of your other risks, may adversely impacted by COVID-19, during this period in order to limit further damage?

    How well are you continuing to manage all of your other risks? Have you reassessed all of the other risks in light of rapidly changing environments? Do you understand the changed level of data security and cyber risk from staff working from home?

  5. How well are you, and will you, learn from this experience?

    How well are you analysing the current experience and factoring them into strategy and actions to make you stronger and more resilient in the future.

  6. How well are you identifying and acting on opportunities that present themselves?

    Are you spending time now on looking for opportunity? Breweries making hand sanitiser, face-to-face trainers (like myself!) moving to on-line training platforms, restaurants moving to a takeaway model and so on.

You need to consider which of the above you can influence right now in the short term and not fret about those you cannot. I would suggest points 3, 4, 5 & 6 are what you can influence as you go through this experience.

As passionate risk managers at Protecht, we believe that great risk management is the key to doing the best that you can so after this is all over you can look back and be proud that you did your best and that you bounced as far forward as was possible.

Carpe diem.

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