What is Business Resilience? The word “resilience” has many different means and in today’s business world, it is maybe one of the most widely discussed topics. Each and every day people, communities, and organizations are faced with impacts and disasters both emanating from nature (i.e. severe weather) or man-made (i.e. cyber terrorism, hacking). Furthermore, we have seen that such impacts and disasters are occurring more frequently and with ever increasing negative consequences. As a result, now more than ever, the concept of resilience or “being resilience” is of utmost importance!
Many different definitions simply categorize resilience as the “ability to bounce back”. While we agree that the ability to “bounce back” is important, resilience in our view means much more than that. Living and conducting your business with purpose, perseverance, and self-reliance make for resilience. This concept is important not just for survival but to achieve a competitive advantage.
We define business resilience as:
“much more than simply an ability to bounce back, business resilience is the capacity to operate with purpose, perseverance, and self-reliance. A strong capacity for resilience leads to a business that is rich, rewarding, and significant. As a business’s resilience grows, it will be better prepared to positively manage change, challenge, and adversity. Business resilience involves both a sense of preparedness as well as the capacity to adapt.”
Resilient businesses regain their balance and keep going, despite misfortune. They find meaning amidst confusion and turmoil. Resilient businesses are self-confident and understand their own strengths and abilities. They do not feel a pressure to conform but take pleasure in being unique and willing to “go it alone” if necessary. Resilient businesses have confidence in their ability to persevere because they have done so before and anticipate rather than fear change and challenges.
Being resilient does not mean that a business will “bounce back” and return to the same position after experiencing difficulties, but it does mean that equilibrium will be re-established.
Resilient businesses experience the same difficulties and stressors as everyone else; they are not immune or hardened to stress, but they have learned how to deal with life’s inevitable difficulties and this ability sets them apart. This in itself can be seen as a competitive advantage!