Moving from business continuity to organisational resilience

Moving from business continuity to organisational resilience

There is a change of language and focus currently taking place amongst business continuity professionals that is much more than just semantics. It originates from the organisational driver for business disruption planning and has the potential to demonstrate to senior managers the value that such planning can to bring to the whole business. This new language substitutes ‘organisational resilience’ in place of ‘business continuity management’ and ‘adaptability’ in place of ‘response’.

Writing recently for Continuity Central, Lyndon Bird, Technical Director of the Business Continuity Institute, summed up the benefits of the new focus rather well. He argues that “Organisational resilience is much more than recovery from disaster or serious incidents. It is the ability to identify and monitor risks to prevent them from happening in the first place, or at least minimise the impact. It is about the capability of the organisation to deal with incidents that cannot possibly be predicted or adapt itself to changes in its external circumstances.”

By taking a holistic approach that moves beyond organisational response and onto organisational resilience, critical dependencies and single points of failure can be better identified and mitigated. This will reduce business disruption, rather than just improve the speed of the response to it, resulting in greater reliability and increased customer satisfaction. This improved organisational performance will not go unnoticed by senior managers and is highly likely to increase senior stakeholder buy-in to the business continuity planning process.

In his article Lyndon Bird goes onto argue that with business change moving faster than ever before, the construction of bureaucratic resilience plans is not the best means of providing security. Responses to crises should be more dynamic and the way people work should demonstrate resilience capability and the necessary people skills needed to effectively deal with unexpected events.

Our own Crises-Control app can help in facilitating this adaptability by providing an extensive, 150 strong, library of possible disruption scenarios that your business continuity plan can be tested against. Not all of these will be relevant to every business. But the process of testing your plan against such a wide range of scenarios is a vital step in identifying critical dependencies and possible single points of failure in your own operating model. That, as Lyndon notes, is how resilience is built.

The BCI are holding their annual Business Continuity World Conference in London on the 5th and 6th of November 2014. The Crises Control team will be there too. If you are wondering where to start with supply chain continuity, or business continuity in general, come and visit us at the BCI World Conference. We will have a stand demonstrating our self-guide incident creation tools and our state-of-the-art communication tools.

We want you to eliminate operational risks without breaking the bank. If you can’t make the BCI Conference, visit us at to learn more.