Resilient Shift seeking new Global Director

Resilience Shift seeking new Global Director

The Resilience Shift is looking for a new Global Director in a role which promises to contribute towards a safer and better world, according to The Resilience Shift’s Acting Programme Director and Arup Fellow, Jo da Silva.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the right person who will genuinely be able to contribute towards a safer and better world by bringing the resilience of critical infrastructure into the forefront of innovative thinking, helping to shift thinking and practice worldwide,” she said.

The new Global Director will inspire and drive resilience thinking and practice in the planning, design and operation of critical infrastructure systems. They will help to raise the profile of The Resilience Shift, increase its influence, and set the agenda, vision, strategy and long-term direction of the programme.

For further information, see the job advertisement or email [email protected]. Please share with your professional networks as appropriate.

Farewell to Kaylene Sampson

Farewell to Kaylene Sampson

At the end of the year Res Orgs will be sadly saying goodbye to one of our Senior Research Consultants. Kaylene Sampson will be leaving us to follow her passion for education and take a position as Team Lead in the Learning Evaluation and Academic Development Unit at the University of Canterbury. Kaylene joined us in June 2017 and since then has contributed to a number of Res Orgs projects both here and abroad. We have hugely valued her contribution to our team and we know she will be missed by those she has worked with. We wish her well for this exciting new opportunity.

Honorary Fellowship award recognises New Zealand’s global leadership in resilience

Honorary Fellowship award recognises New Zealand’s global leadership in resilience

Last month, Resilient Organisations’ researcher Dr Erica Seville was awarded an Honorary Fellow of the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), a prestigious award that recognises innovation at the forefront of organisational resilience globally.

The highest honour granted by the BCI, the honorary fellowship has only been gifted to 26 others since its inception in 1994, and this is the first time it has been awarded to a New Zealander. Recipients must be nominated by their peers for the award.

With Erica also being a Principal Investigator with QuakeCoRE, New Zealand’s Centre of Research Excellence in earthquake resilience, it makes this honour quite special - demonstrating that New Zealand research is really helping organisations around the globe.

Business continuity and organisational resilience is a massive industry globally and the BCI has thousands of members from around the world. The award was presented at the BCI World Conference in London.

Although the award was granted to Dr Seville individually, she says it is a recognition of her entire team’s research excellence, and indeed of the research excellence and leadership of New Zealand in resilience globally.

This year also marks the first time a New Zealander, Glenn Redstall of Inland Revenue, has been appointed to the global Board of BCI.

- Ends -

Research Consultant vacancy

Research Consultant vacancy

We are looking for a driven, open-minded person to join our team as a Research Consultant. This is a unique opportunity to join a growing business. You will be involved in a diverse range of research and consulting projects while contributing to the vision, strategy, and development of the business and pursuing your own resilience related projects.

About Us

Resilient Organisations is a niche research and consulting company that helps organisations, industries, and economies thrive in any environment. We specialise in developing and administering tools and strategies for decision making, resilience assessment, and education. As a social enterprise, we aim to maximise the positive social impact of our work.

What we do

Resilient Organisations provides a broad range of resilience consulting services to organisations as well as conducting resilience-related research. Please see our website to find out more.

How we do it

We are a small team who believe work should be fun. We operate a flexible working environment to promote wellbeing inside and outside of work. Our values are key to the way we operate. We work collaboratively within our team, and with our partners, clients, and funders to produce high quality, evidence-based outputs that make a difference.

The role

The main tasks will involve:

  • Co-creating innovative approaches to client and research problems
  • Liaising with clients and other stakeholders
  • Reading, analysing, and accurately synthesising complex material
  • Collecting data through interviews, surveys, and other means
  • Writing reports and articles for publication.

Skills and experience

You will need the ability to:

  • Present ideas clearly and concisely both verbally and in writing
  • Switch readily between working independently and collaboratively
  • Ask for help when needed and be comfortable contributing to group discussions
  • Switch readily between leading projects and supporting others
  • Demonstrate proficiency in managing your own time to ensure projects are completed on time
  • Effectively plan and maintain interest in long-term projects.

You will ideally possess:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (e.g., business, engineering, sociology, geography) and post-graduate qualification at the Masters or higher level from an accredited institution
  • A high level of proficiency in Word, Excel, Outlook
  • Some familiarity with statistical analysis software (SPSS, R etc)
  • An ability to identify and select pragmatic solutions within constrained timeframes
  • Self-motivation and a positive ‘can-do’ attitude.

To apply for this role, please email your CV and covering letter to [email protected] by 20 January 2019.

If you would like further information about the position or Resilient Organisations, contact Tracy Hatton on +64 (0) 21 160 7707.

Resilience Shift grant to develop resilience primer for water sector

Resilience Shift grant to develop a resilience primer focused on the water sector


Resilient Organisations appointed by the Resilience Shift to develop resilience primer.

The Resilience Shift has today announced the appointment of a new grantee, Resilient Organisations, for its programme to improve the resilience of critical infrastructure.

The team at Resilient Organisations, led by Dr. Tracy Hatton, has been commissioned to develop an industry-specific primer focused on the water sector, namely Potable Water Infrastructure, that will help key players understand what they can do differently to improve resilience in this industry.
In developing this practical, industry-specific primer, Resilient Organisations and the Resilience Shift will be identifying 1) the current best practices by leading organisations that embed resilience into their decision-making, 2) the incentives that are currently available for driving resilience, but are not capitalized upon due to lack of awareness of their existence, and 3) the future directions for how to scale and augment the current menu of incentives.
Ultimately, the vision of the Resilience Shift is a more resilient world which understands the interconnected nature of modern life and the services on which we all depend.

Among these services, the delivery of freshwater is critical. Substantial impacts to the water sector as a result of extreme shocks and stresses has the potential to directly impact the safety and well-being of millions of people.

The Resilience Shift believes that greater resilience across the potable water sector is an achievable goal and that knowledge sharing around key incentives and levers can shift major stakeholders towards adopting more resilient practices and technologies.

The Resilience Shift is supporting the team at Resilient Organisations in this effort and will be sharing their findings by publishing a resilience primer in 2019.

Other grantees announced today include Wood, TRL, and Four Twenty Seven.

The initial expression of interest closed at the end of August 2018, but the Resilience Shift anticipates continuing this work into 2019. They will welcome future submissions from interested grantees at any time.

Dr. Tracy Hatton, Principal Research Consultant, Resilient Organisations, said: “We are looking forward to this opportunity to capture some of the great projects and initiatives that currently exist to improve water resilience and sharing these with a broader audience”.

Ibrahim Almufti, Project Leader, Resilience Shift, said:
“Our aim is to shift the needle on resilience practice so that all organisations embed it into their decision-making. To achieve this, we must clearly articulate the value that resilience can bring.”

Jo da Silva, Acting Programme Director, Resilience Shift, said:
“We are engaging directly with industry stakeholders and with those responsible for incentivising resilience for critical infrastructure. The Resilience Shift is a global initiative, we want to develop a common understanding across infrastructure systems globally, and our new grantees are diverse both geographically and in their target sector.”


Notes to Editor
About Dr. Tracy Hatton and Resilient Organisations
Dr. Tracy Hatton is Principal Research Consultant at Resilient Organisations (ResOrgs), a New Zealand based public-good research and consulting group helping communities and organizations become future ready. ResOrgs has developed a 13 indicator model of organizational resilience, and a benchmark resilience tool (BRT) to help organizations diagnose their resilience strengths and weaknesses. Much of their work cuts across multiple infrastructure services, which helps us to understand key sector commonalities, differences and interdependencies.

About the Resilience Shift
The Resilience Shift (RS) was established in 2016 to address the recommendations of the Lloyd's Register Foundation's 'Foresight review of resilience engineering'. The initial 5-year programme is funded by Lloyd's Register Foundation, with Arup as host institution. Its aim is to shift critical infrastructure resilience thinking and practice so that engineered structures and infrastructure will be not only safer but also better.
There are several different ways in which external organisations can collaborate with the Resilience Shift programme including as a vendor, grantee, partner or equity partner. Collaborators can be identified via different mechanisms, including via an open call for proposals / competitions or directly appointed (as strategic partners). If you are interested in collaborating with us, you can find out more on our website.

Media contact: [email protected]

ResOrgs to present at Canterbury Earthquakes Symposium: Sharing the lessons from the Canterbury experiences event

ResOrgs to present at the Canterbury Earthquakes Symposium: Sharing the lessons from the Canterbury experiences event

Resilient Organisations is thrilled to be presenting at the Canterbury Earthquakes Symposium: Sharing the lessons from the Canterbury experiences event on 29-30 November 2018 at the University of Canterbury.

Researchers Charlotte Brown, Ellie Kay and Tracy Hatton found inspiration at the Canterbury earthquake memorial wall brainstorming for our presentation on the Ten lessons for organisations: how to survive and thrive in a crisis.

Presentation Abstract

Organisations are a keystone species in the ecology of our cities.  So when disaster strikes, organisations play a critical role in keeping our communities and economy functioning. Resilient Organisations research group has spent the past six years learning about how businesses are affected by, adapt to, and recover from major disruption.  Organisational resilience depends on so much more than strong buildings and robust infrastructure. It requires adaptive systems and people, supply chain management, and quality leadership. We have surveyed and interviewed over 1000 organisations affected by the Canterbury earthquakes and have built a broad and rich dataset of insights that can now help organisations facing disruptions in the future.  Here we highlight the top ten lessons for managing through crisis, being agile and adaptive in the face of change and finding opportunities in disruptions.   The lessons are presented in a forward-looking, practical way that can be readily adopted by both organisations and policy-makers to prepare for, and respond to, future crises.

Resilience – the key to riding waves of uncertainty

Resilience - riding the waves of uncertainty

Kaylene Sampson, Senior Research Consultant, Resilient Organisations
August 2018

My home town has been rebuilding from crisis for almost eight years.  September 2018 marks the eight-year anniversary of the first of a series of devastating earthquakes to hit Christchurch, New Zealand. Since the first earthquake on 4 September 2010, thousands of aftershocks have rocked my city, including the 22nd February 2011quake which caused 185 fatalities and countless injuries alongside substantial damage to the city.

As I was adjusting to this new post-disaster city, the government began counting up the cost. The physical rebuild of the commercial sector was estimated at $16 NZD billion on top of the significant individual losses experienced through changes to the business environment. Media reports suggested that around two-thirds of New Zealand businesses were impacted. Loss of premises, supply chain problems, destruction of necessary infrastructure, low staff morale, changes in demand and diminished talent pools were among the challenges facing businesses up and down New Zealand.

A creative approach

In the new post-disaster environment, I saw the efforts of Christchurch businesses taking creative steps to adjust to their changed metaphorical and physical landscape. Some hospitality businesses reinvented themselves as mobile food outlets while others simply closed their doors, cognisant of the need to wait. Brightly coloured and modified shipping containers began to pop up all over the city. Serving everything from fast food to fashion, these relocatable retail outlets were a quick and agile solution to damaged buildings.

Some businesses increased their online presence in an attempt to address the dilemma and maintain turnover. As some residents exited and others migrated inwards, diversification of products or services was yet another solution to changing local circumstance. Parts of the construction industry partnered with the demolition industry, recognising the growth in demand for their new business partner as well as the likely halt on their own core business, at least in the short term. It seems creativity has become the new normal in much of recent Christchurch business activity.

Ensuring you can ‘hang out your shingle’

During business as usual most businesses sit in an approximate equilibrium; that is the demand for goods and services approximates the ability to meet it. However, what about a non-BAU environment? How does this equilibrium shift and how do businesses respond?

After a major disruption perhaps the most immediate and traditional concern focusses on ensuring you can continue to open your doors, ‘hang out your shingle’ and proceed. 

Much of standard BCP efforts focus on ensuring that your operation will still be able to meet the needs of your customers. Being certain you have back up for critical infrastructure and having potential alternative locations are among the kinds of well thought out actions that address this concern.  However, while maintaining operability is critical, the nature of impact can be unpredictable and complex, meaning that accounting for every likely scenario can be exhausting and costly. Additionally, focusing on operability is only half of the story; the other part relates to managing demand – the bit customers bring to the table. 

Winners and losers

In the years following the Christchurch quakes customer demand was simply not uniform across all businesses. Around one fifth of the businesses we engaged with told us that initial decreases in demand were followed by a rapid and sustained call for their goods or services.  While some owners reported that immediate demand was strong but short-lived, a small number of businesses experienced slow and gradual decline or perpetual volatility that preceded closing their doors permanently. It is perhaps unsurprising that a few as one in ten reported “no change” in the patterns of demand they experienced.

It seems that the nature of the disaster itself became instrumental in the kinds of goods or services the population sought out. Damaged buildings need demolition before builders can swing a hammer, and the influx of trades staff improved the turnover of fast food outlets and temporary accommodation. In short, the quakes produced clear winners and loser on the new business landscape in which demand changed in one way or another for almost all businesses. So, if that is the case, how can you be sure you are on the winning team?

The agile approach to business continuity

Disruption events come with both opportunities and challenges, much of which are unpredictable. Though stable or growing demand is a critical part of business recovery, there is great uncertainty as to how demand may change in a post disaster environment. In addition, from a continuity planning perspective, accounting for every potential scenario can be exhaustive and costly. Resilience thinking, in contrast, employs a more agile approach that will make you simply more adaptable to respond to the impacts of unpredictable events.

But what characterises resilient thinking? What enabled those businesses in Christchurch to get operational and to match their ability to operate with the level to demand that existed?  Local businesses employed creativity in the solutions applied to unknown problems, built and utilised connections with people and resources, and engaged in leadership styles that created high levels of staff engagement where solutions to business problems were generated by team members who worked together to get the business through. In short, bringing resilience principles into the proactive management of your day to day operations, will position you well to ride the waves of uncertainty during times of crisis.

Shakeout Preparedness Tips for Business

Shakeout Preparedness Tips for Business

New Zealand ShakeOut, our national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi, is taking place on Thursday 18 October 2018 at 9:30 am.

ShakeOut is held across the world to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake, Drop, Cover and Hold - and to practise a tsunami hīkoi (evacuation) if in a coastal area.

With the ShakeOut exercise coming up, it is a good reminder for businesses to improve their preparedness.

Resilient Organisations have put together a few tips and simple actions organisations can do to significantly improve their resilience and preparedness.

Download the ShakeOut Preparedness Tips

If you are a New Zealand organisation and want to find out more about ShakeOut and how to participate, go to the ShakeOut website,

DIVE Platform – the key to New Zealand’s exciting resilience innovations

DIVE Platform – the key to New Zealand’s exciting resilience innovations

ResOrgs researchers, Dr Joanne Stevenson and Ellie Kay have been busy working with a team of researchers creating a new platform that will help researchers make better use of New Zealand’s Disaster Risk Reduction and resilience data.

The collaborative team of researchers, funded by Resilience to Nature’s Challenges Kia manawaroa – Ngā Ākina o Te Ao Tūroa and QuakeCoRE – New Zealand Centre for Earthquake Resilience, developed the platform after identifying a gap in the industry. “Across the country there are datasets from extensive, ongoing research on disaster risk reduction and resilience, but no integrated way to share and search that information” said Dr Joanne Stevenson, team lead for the project.

After running a series of workshops to find out what stakeholders and researchers needed, the team developed the Data Integration and Visualisation En Masse (DIVE) Platform. The NZ Resilience DIVE Platform website gives users the ability to catalogue, discover, share, and use datasets and other information relevant to Disaster Risk Reduction and resilience in New Zealand. “DIVE provides, for the first time in New Zealand, a place where researchers can let others know about the data, publications, and ongoing research relevant to DRR and resilience” Dr Stevenson notes.

The platform can also host unique datasets, as well as being a place where those interested in DRR and resilience in New Zealand can connect and collaborate, forming virtual organisations for sharing information. DIVE also provides access to data literacy tools for those wanting to know more about metadata and spatial data, and why these things are important for a more resilient New Zealand.

The DIVE Platform can be accessed at

Researchers who choose to host their data on the platform can rest assured that it won’t be lost too. Should it be decommissioned, DIVE can be transferred to another host, such as, as it has been created using the CKAN software platform.

The NZ Resilience DIVE Platform is created and maintained by Resilient Organisations and, ultimately, by New Zealand’s research community. As a sharing platform, this collaborative site provides a tool for transformational research, allowing for innovative new discoveries through the recycling of data. It is also hoped that DIVE can act as a catalogue or repository for information produced in disaster response and recovery contexts and can aid decision making in the wake of natural disasters.

Erica Seville appointed to the board of the Earthquake Commission (EQC)

Erica Seville appointed to the Earthquake Commision (EQC) Board

Congratulations to Resilient Organisations' Director, Erica Seville on her appointment as a Commissioner to the Earthquake Commision (EQC).

Having spent many years leading and mentoring a group of researchers and consultants working to make public and private sector organisations more resilient, Erica will bring a wealth of knowledge, insight, and a fresh perspective to this role.

Read the EQC news item