2021’s most provocative dialogue on resilience
No doubt, businesses everywhere are still reeling from a major resilience reckoning.
Think about it: In a period of just a couple of years, we saw businesses big and small affected by a worldwide pandemic, major ransomware attacks, and large-scale supply chain failures. Those are the sort of problems that a business maybe encounters over decades, not simultaneously in the same calendar year!
As a result, resilience programs have been put to the test. The pandemic and all the complications that followed proved to be the watershed moment for resilience. And the context in which we operate in this profession has changed dramatically.
That’s why iluminr assembled a team of resilience diehards including Marcus Vaughan (Co-Founder & Chief Growth Officer, iluminr), James Green (Co-Founder, Illuminate Advisory), and Rina Singh (Founder, The Resilience Pod) for a live webinar to talk us through what iluminr has dubbed “The Big Resilience Reset.”
It was an hour-long provocative conversation which set the chat stream on fire! We know an hour is a commitment, so here’s a neat summary you can read in 5 minutes. Let’s dive in:
The State of Business Continuity
Is business continuity dead? Not quite, in James’ opinion. But it’s certainly on life support. And the decline is due, in part, to the unprecedented avalanche of concurrent events that have affected the business status quo.
For instance, let’s say you live in Florida, as James does. There are certain expected events that you can anticipate and put measures into place to mitigate. An example is hurricane season. Any Florida resident knows that from June to November, you must be keenly aware of and prepared for the possibility of a hurricane. But traditional business continuity planning only accounts for one disruptive event at a time. Now let’s say you have the threat of a hurricane + the ongoing pandemic + plus a data breach. For lack of a better term, you’re screwed.
Business continuity may not be completely dead. However, the pandemic has exposed major flaws in the current ways in which we approach disaster preparedness. As a result, we may need to rethink the entire resilience discipline.
Before we go any further, it’s important to define exactly what resilience is. Contrary to popular belief, resilience doesn’t solely refer to business continuity or recovery. It also isn’t a series of boxes you check to ensure that your risk is mitigated if a disruptive event were to occur. The true definition of resilience varies from business to business. Every organization has completely unique risks and needs, so naturally, your understanding of resilience is going to be different than everyone else’s. Part of the challenge of this resilience reset then, is understanding your business, where you fit into the risk landscape, and defining resilience for yourself. That’s the only way you can begin to work towards business resilience.
Be Prepared and Persuasive
As Marcus mentions early in the discussion, resilience as usual just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Sure, you can stay ISO compliant, get organizations certified, etc. All good things that you should be doing. But only doing these basic tasks isn’t enough now. The fact of the matter is the world that you’ve been operating in has fundamentally changed. And no amount of clicking your heels or wishing you could go back to the way things were will change that. You need to stay agile and aware of the changes taking place in the world, and in your industry. And you need to be prepared for every possible situation.
In addition to preparedness, sometimes working in resilience requires a certain level of persuasion. You need to be able to get executive buy-in on the fact that what you’re doing is an important and necessary business expense. Some companies are great about planning for adverse events. Yet some won’t spend money on a problem they can’t yet see. So part of your role is helping them to understand the importance of a proper resilience infrastructure, and ensuring they give you the resources you need to be successful. And if they refuse, the panel argues, you should consider moving on to a new role with a new business that better values your contributions.
The Great Resilience Resignation
While we’re on the subject, let’s say you do decide to make that leap into a new role. You’re not alone. The Great Resignation of workers worldwide has affected just about every industry, and resilience pros are no exceptions. Maybe you’re tired of just checking boxes and want to do deeper work with a company that cares about resilience as much as you do. Great, but you need to be careful, James cautions. Don’t leave a role just because the grass (read: money) is greener somewhere else. If you take a job purely for the paycheck, and the executive attitude there is the same as at your previous job, you’re just going to get burnt out faster.
So instead, ask the right questions in your interview process. How much of a priority is resilience to your potential new company. What will my budget look like? What resources are available to me? Are the executives bought in? Does the company prioritize the mental wellbeing of its employees? These are things you need to consider before joining in on the Great Resignation.
The Generational Shift
The final thing to really consider in the wake of the Big Resilience Reset is the generational shift currently taking place. The first waves of Gen Z’ers are starting to populate the workforce. And as the only current working generation to have grown up completely in the Internet age, they represent a shift in how we as resilience professionals need to approach engagement.
The long e-modules and white papers of old aren’t going to resonate with a generation that is used to shorter form content. So rather than remaining stuck in our ways, the approach to content engagement in general has to evolve. We need to deliver an experience that matches their expectations of what content consumption should be. Always remember: what worked for one audience won’t necessarily work for another one.
That’s a recap wrap folks! If you want to watch the full webinar, you can do so right here.
We’d also love to help you bring resilience to life at your org. If you’re interested in learning more, request a demo here. We’d be happy to walk you through our solution.