The concept of resilience has become more important in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic

The concept of business resilience has become more important to organisations in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Adam Berryman of IAG Risk Partners. 

Speaking at the RIMS Australasia Conference 2021, Berryman, a specialist in enterprise risk management and business resilience, said resilient organisations “can thrive in today’s disrupted world”.

He said more businesses than ever had begun to value resilience following the shocks of the past 18 months.

According to Berryman, business resilience is defined as “the adaptive capacity of an organisation to respond to a complex and changing environment”.

He said that the Covid pandemic and complexities operating in a post-Covid world presented an opportunity for organisations to embrace business resilience principles.

“Covid has demonstrated the far-reaching impact of events,” he said. “Resilient businesses need a broad approach to make sure they are dealing with these broader impacts.”

Berryman said that change and the response to the change were a big part of business resilience.

The right culture

Aside from protecting balance sheets and protecting operational continuity, Berryman said business resilience also focused on the culture within an organisation. Social and cultural implications also underpinned resilience, he added.

Strategic planning, human resources, business continuity management, and information security also fed into strong resilience programmes, he said, and supply chain management.

Berryman said he had encountered some “frustrating” pushback on business resilience matters, particularly at SME level, but said Covid had “elevated” the subject, “especially at board level: “It has been highlighted that critical events do occur”, he added.

He acknowledged that there was no perfect path to business resilience, but it was a “continuous improvement philosophy”: “It’s never going to be perfect out of the box,” he added.

Asked how risk professionals could demonstrate the value of business resilience principles when big events “might never happen”, Berryman said risk managers needed to align their programmes with business objectives.

“What’s the cost-benefit around business resilience? Resilience comes at a cost, whether that’s from growing resources or investing in technology. On the flip side, there are benefits, such as growing financial stability or brand strength. Those things are harder to measure, so the application of cost-benefit is tricky.

“What is key is aligning business resilience strategy to value drivers. You need to say that business resilience strategies will help us to achieve those corporate objectives. When there’s an alignment, that’s the best way of demonstrating value.”

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