3 Keys to Developing Business Resilience

Business resilience is all about your ability to sustain, or even grow your operations in the face of challenging external circumstances.

The more you can do to cultivate strategic, operational, and psychological resilience within your organization, the better you can expect to fare against that major new competitor, the economic upheaval that disrupts your supply chain, or a financial crisis like a recession.

Use these 3 keys to developing greater business resilience to minimize the negative impact of unexpected or uncontrollable events—and position yourself to take advantage of any opportunities they create.

1. Build a durable company culture

Because your culture reflects the attitudes and behaviours of your company and employees as a whole, it can either aid or deter your efforts to make your business more flexible.

To promote a more durable culture:

  • Shore up cultural buy-in across your organization by updating your mission, vision, and values in response to outside changes (like the recent pandemic, for example)
  • Maintain clear, two-way communication and accountability between yourself and your staff
  • Strengthen internal connections by finding specific ways team members can impact or uphold your company’s mission

It’s important to recognize that your culture doesn’t just play an important role in shaping the success of strategic actions and change—it’s entwined with leadership efforts at every level of your organization.

2. Aim for agile leadership

With culture and leadership so tightly bound, a rigid, top-down management style might not be the best approach if you’re relying on creativity or innovation to keep your business responsive to changing conditions.

To ensure better cultural and strategic alignment:

  • Model an agile, collaborative leadership style by seeking and taking employee feedback into account when making changes
  • Ensure company values drive all your expectations and practices for guiding and informing team members’ actions
  • Stay attuned to how challenging circumstances, prevailing uncertainties, or internal changesare impacting staff

Since you’ll find it tough to build a resilient business if your team doesn’t feel supported, you should make it a habit to demonstrate your ongoing commitment to employee well-being.

3. Implement change the right way

Before your business can embrace positive change to respond to external situations, you’ll need to determine exactly what adjustments are required and the best way to implement them.

While there are many techniques you can use to map out and manage the change process, it’s usually best to adopt one with the following traits:

  • A logical, practical approach. If, for example, your goal is to maintain (or increase) retention or revenue during a crisis, it makes sense to start by strengthening your employee-incentive or customer-retention programs, respectively.
  • Clear, understandable planning. Laying out key milestones and using meaningful metrics to track progress is essential. If you can’t collaborate on a plan of action with your staff, at least make sure it’s reasonable, achievable, and clearly communicated to them.
  • People prioritization. Having the right team members in the right roles will help change unfold as smoothly as possible. Be sure to consider mindset and influence alongside skills and experience, since having change advocates in key roles will help bring and keep others onboard.

While change is happening, it’s important that you support employees with relevant resources and ongoing guidance. Don’t forget, too, to reward and recognize your team by celebrating their successes.

Start with a risk management plan

Developing greater resilience takes focus, persistence, and the use of tools and processes that make it easier to work through new challenges. As one of those tools, it’s worth consulting with a professional advisory service about creating a financial risk management plan to help identify and deal with external threats to your business.

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