It is easy to get so focused on your own area of interest that you forget to look up and around you to see how you connect with other perspectives. That is what happened to me last week when I spoke at an event on individual resilience with colleagues from Achill Management. Achill are experts in organisational resilience who are helping organisations working in the voluntary and social enterprise sectors to future proof themselves.
It is comforting to see organisational resilience as a concern of large operations e.g. how would a hospital keep performing if a hurricane knocked out its electricity systems; how quickly can an organisation recover from fire or flood, how long before a bank recovers from the failure of its IT systems, but resilience is perhaps even more relevant when your organisation is small.
What would happen if a key member of staff left?
How reliant are you on one or two clients?
How long could you keep going if you lost a key client?
What would happen if you were ill for an extended period?
What would happen if a break in took away key technology?
These are the sort of questions which small organisations often avoid asking themselves,but which risk the loss of their business if one or more disruptions hits them. According to the US Federal Emergency Management Agency 90% of businesses fail within two years after a major disaster.
Jim Haywood, Director at Achill Management offered some key questions to help businesses (large and small) consider how they can resilience proof themselves.
- What are the 3 critical activities that you need to keep doing to ensure your success e.g. producing new products and services, marketing, thinking smarter than competitors (and which of those activities is most critical).
- What are the disruptions that could prevent you giving attention to those critical activities e.g. only focussing in the here and now, continuing doing things which keep you busy but which are not business critical.
- How long could you keep going if you failed to focus on those critical activities?
- Which is most urgent for you to attend to right now, and what action can you take to prevent or mitigate your resilience being impacted
Simple questions but ones which pull us up short on how willing we are to engage in considering what could derail our organisation.
For any organisation wanting to consider their own business’s resilience Achill Management have developed a nifty questionnaire, which takes only a few minutes and which gives you an immediate reading on the resilience of your organisation , and what you can do to increase it.
To complete the questionnaire follow the link: