Through in-depth case studies of organisations of different sizes, sectors, and ownership structures we have discovered that organisational resilience consists of 3 interdependent attributes and 13 indicators of resilience. These build business as usual (BAU) effectiveness as well as robust and agile response and recovery from crises.
Strong crisis leadership to provide good management and decision making during times of crisis, as well as continuous evaluation of strategies and work programs against organisational goals.
The engagement and involvement of staff who understand the link between their own work, the organisation's resilience, and its long term success. Staff are empowered and use their skills to solve problems.
Staff are encouraged to be vigilant about the organisation, its performance and potential problems. Staff are rewarded for sharing good and bad news about the organisation including early warning signals and these are quickly reported to organisational leaders.
Staff have the appropriate authority to make decisions related to their work and authority is clearly delegated to enable a crisis response. Highly skilled staff are involved, or are able to make, decisions where their specific knowledge adds significant value, or where their involvement will aid implementation.
Innovation and creativity
Staff are encouraged and rewarded for using their knowledge in novel ways to solve new and existing problems, and for utilising innovative and creative approaches to developing solutions.
An understanding of the relationships and resources the organisation might need to access from other organisations during a crisis, and planning and management to ensure this access.
Critical information is stored in a number of formats and locations and staff have access to expert opinions when needed. Roles are shared and staff are trained so that someone will always be able to fill key roles.
Minimisation of divisive social, cultural and behavioural barriers, which are most often manifested as communication barriers creating disjointed, disconnected and detrimental ways of working.
The management and mobilisation of the organisation's resources to ensure its ability to operate during business as usual, as well as being able to provide the extra capacity required during a crisis.
Unity of purpose
An organisation wide awareness of what the organisation's priorities would be following a crisis, clearly defined at the organisation level, as well as an understanding of the organisation's minimum operating requirements.
A strategic and behavioural readiness to respond to early warning signals of change in the organisation's internal and external environment before they escalate into crisis.
The development and evaluation of plans and strategies to manage vulnerabilities in relation to the business environment and its stakeholders.
Stress testing plans
The participation of staff in simulations or scenarios designed to practice response arrangements and validate plans.