Is your business resilient enough?

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Apparently, only a third of business chiefs think that their companies have the resilience to survive into the future.

Malory Davies FCILT, Editor.

Malory Davies FCILT, Editor.

This surprising finding comes in a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit for the British Standards Institution entitled: Organisational resilience: Building an enduring enterprise.

Although almost nine out of ten respondents said that resilience was a priority for their businesses, only 29 per cent said resilience was “fully embedded in their organisations and a clear factor in success”, and only 44 per cent expected resilience to be fully embedded in three years’ time.

“Navigating today’s fast moving and ever-changing world requires companies to be agile, robust and adaptive to defy corporate mortality and pass the test of time. That two out of three business leaders believe their organisation may fail this test, shows just how fragile and vulnerable company structures are. This is further reinforced by high-profile examples regularly appearing around the world,” said Howard Kerr, chief executive of BSI.

The study highlights a number of obstacles that are holding businesses back from becoming fully resilient: the need to focus on immediate financial issues (53 per cent), lack of skills or knowledge related to ensuring resilience (48 per cent), and insufficient leadership commitment (47 per cent).

Not surprisingly, supply chain flexibility ranks high among the factor in ensuring organisation resilience. It was cited by some 66 per cent as either very or somewhat important. Other factors included understanding customer needs, skilled staff, dynamic leadership, and operational processes.

PwC’s 2015 CEO survey highlighted the fact that 59 per cent of company leaders see more threat to their businesses than three years ago. And the EIU study highlights an number of threats to the supply chain including disruptive competitors, reputational risk, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters.

Central to building a resilient supply chain is the ability to respond to such threats – and this EIU study suggests that many organisations have a lot of work to do to achieve that.

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