Shut Happens updated

Shut Happens booklet updated

We have recently updated one of our key resources for small businesses - Shut Happens - A short guide to preparing for the unexpected.

The key message is still the same - preparing for the unexpected doesn't have to be hard -  making time to take smalls steps can help get your business ready to 'get through'. But what we have changed is the words on the cover page. While natural disaster can definitely cause enormous disruption for a small business, disruption can come in many other shapes and forms including losing key staff, supply chain disruption, pandemic, equipment failure, extreme weather, power outage, etc.

Download the updated Shut Happens booklet

Congratulations to Khiam Lee

Congratulations to Khiam Lee

Khiam has submitted and successfully defended his PhD thesis, A case study of collaborative disaster management in Malaysia.

Khiam’s research examines the dynamics of collaboration of ASEAN Member States particularly the national disaster management offices during different cycles of disaster risk management. Khiam used multiple case studies to explore the phenomenon of multi-party collaboration in the face of extreme events such as mega-scale natural disasters.

Read more about Khiam and his research

Latest research

Latest research update

The Australian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies (AJDTS) has published a special issue focusing on "Pathways to Earthquake Resilience" - The case study of Wellington, New Zealand, featuring two papers from the ResOrgs team.

The paper, Business recovery from disaster: A research update for practitioners focuses on ResOrgs' six-year research interviewing and surveying over 1000 organisations to learn more about the effect of the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquakes on organisations across their shaken region. This broad and rich dataset of insights can now help other organisations facing disruptions in the future, with the paper identifying the top ten lessons for managing through crisis, being agile and adaptive in the face of change, and finding opportunities in disruption.

The other paper, From physical disruption to community impact: Modelling a Wellington Fault earthquake focuses on the work of Charlotte Brown and researchers from Market Economics and GNS Science using the MERIT model to model the economic impact of an earthquake event to support decision-making for investment options to improve disaster preparedness.

LA Times story on lessons learnt from Christchurch earthquakes

LA Times story on lessons learnt from Christchurch earthquakes

Rong-Gong Lin, a reporter who has worked on earthquake news at the Los Angeles Times for nearly a decade, recently visited Christchurch and spoke to a number of people, including Tracy Hatton, to learn more about the lessons California can learn from Christchurch.  As he notes in his story, Christchurch bears a distinct resemblance to California cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, sharing similar building codes, architectural styles and proximity to major faults and can help educate Californians on what we might to expect when the next earthquake hits one of their cities.

Ron wrote three stories featured in the paper.

EQC Biennial Grant funding

EQC Biennial Grant funding for new project

We are excited to have been awarded a grant under the New Zealand EQC Biennial Grants programme.

Tracy Hatton will be leading a team of researchers looking at how organisations perceive their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and what they actually do to reduce earthquake impacts on their organisation and employees. The project will also look at identifying ways in which policy and legislation can be better leveraged to encourage behaviour change to improve New Zealand’s resilience to disaster.

Read the full press release from EQC.

Farewell to Ellie Kay

Farewell to Ellie Kay

This month we say farewell to Ellie Kay, the youngest of the ResOrgs team. Ellie has been instrumental in the development of the Trajectories programme of the Resilience to Nature’s Challenges National Science Challenge, keeps us on track with our diversity and wellbeing goals, and has been involved in many other projects during her time with us.

After an exciting two years at Resilient Organisations, Ellie is heading to the University of Canterbury to take on her next challenge as a Senior Research Analyst in the Learning Evaluation and Academic Development Team. We wish her all the best with her new endeavours and look forward to keeping in touch with her over the coming years!

Building risk management strategies into the vertical construction sector

Building risk management strategies into the vertical construction sector

Achieving a high level of productivity in the construction industry remains challenging. Within the sector, there are also differentiated performance outcomes between the horizontal and vertical construction sector. The recent successes of horizontal infrastructure projects such as the Northern Toll Road Gateway, Waterview Project, and Christchurch Infrastructure Recovery are in contrast to ongoing challenges faced by the vertical construction sector and hence present a unique opportunity for cross-sectoral learning.

A project team, including researchers from Resilient Organisations, Market Economics, and the University of Auckland, has published a  preliminary report from a comparative analysis of the vertical and horizontal construction sectors looking at what causes the varied performance between the two sectors. The report is the outcome of wide-ranging discussions across both vertical and horizontal sectors,  on risk management practice and the enabling factors that drive better risk management practice and productivity performance. The aim is to help initiate practice change in supporting the construction sector to improve risk management behaviours, boost confidence and enhance performance of the sector.

Read the full report

Keeping up with an evolving strategic risk landscape

Keeping up with an evolving strategic risk landscape 

By Erica Seville

The insurance sector, like many others, is at an interesting juncture, as the nature of the strategic risks facing the sector evolves and anticipated time-frames for change shorten.  At first glance, it is a sector populated by well capitalised, established and large incumbents.  It is a sector selling products that consumers need - and are likely to need more of in the future.  And yet, for all those positives, one also gets the sense that this is also a sector ripe for potential disruption.

Last week,  Resilient Organisations Executive Director, Erica Seville, presented at the AON Hazards Conference.  The theme for this year’s conference is apt - (R)evolution of Risk.  As our climate, society and technology changes at an ever-increasing rate, insurers face particular challenges to understand and price risk effectively.  This, coupled with growing expectations from customers requires that insurers shift gears for how they think about and manage risks.

None of us has a crystal ball.  Odds are, the changes that occur will not be the ones we are expecting.  We know that traditional ways of managing risks aren’t very effective at dealing with left-field events (the unknown unknowns).  To deal with these sorts of risks, we need to focus more on shoring up the key attributes that grow resilience in an organisation: building a solid foundation of good leadership and culture throughout our organisations; focusing on buildings networks and relationships that provide support and buffering during times of turbulence; and fostering an organisational attitude and posture that is proactive and positive towards change.  There is no rocket science about these three fundamentals – they are talked about in just about every management textbook.  But all too often good practice isn’t common practice.

The innovation, creativity, and adaptability that will be needed to keep up with our evolving strategic risk landscape needs to be built now. This is a timely reminder for us all to think about how our own organisations measure up on these fundamental aspects of resilience.

Mental Health Awareness Week coaching special

Resilience coaching special offer

We know that being the business continuity or resilience champion in an organisation can be both personally and professionally challenging. In acknowledgement of Mental Health Awareness Week, we are offering a special on our one-on-one organisational resilience professional development coaching. Connecting with others and sharing problems (and successes) can be a key part of managing your own wellbeing.

Our coaching and mentoring programme is an opportunity to build your (or your team’s) resilience understanding and capability and offers a safe space to troubleshoot and strategise on how to achieve change in your organisation.

EarthEx 2019

Earth Ex 2019: Testing resilience planning

Want to test your resilience planning? Have a go at Earth Ex 2019.

This web-based exercise takes you through a Black Sky hazard scenario, testing your readiness and response plans. We recently did it and even though resilience is our core business, we still found it useful to test our planning and thinking. Earth Ex is free and can be done at an organisation, team, or individual level. It is open until 31 October 2019.

For us, the exercise highlighted the need for personal preparedness as a tool for strengthening organisational resilience. For the scenarios in this exercise, having home emergency supplies of water, food, and a contact plan for our families were critical to enable us to support ourselves, others, and our business.

The Earth Ex 2019 scenarios are severe but realistic and well presented. They are applicable regardless of your location. The exercise highlights the linkages between lifeline services and the cascading consequences when key services, such as electricity, are interrupted.

Aside from the obvious resilience preparedness benefits we also found it was a good team event. An opportunity for sharing ideas, reviewing our plans and refreshing some of the office emergency food supply by using it as snack food during the exercise.

Earth Ex 2019 is hosted by the Electric Infrastructure Security Council and sponsored by the Resilience Shift. A Black Sky Hazard is a catastrophic event that severely disrupts the normal functioning of our critical infrastructures in multiple regions for long durations.

Register your organisation or team for the Earth Ex 2019 exercise