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Navigating a Crisis - Part III

20/07/2009


Developing a Culture of Resilience
Faced with the current economic pressures, many firms are reacting by jumping to conclusions to protect profits. Some of these measures include:

  • Freezing infrastructure investments
  • Mothballing new growth projects 
  • Cutting advertising and recruiting investments
  • Introducing loyalty programs for customers and personnel

Some organizations are finding investment opportunities where others are cutting back, as well as developing a better understanding of their own strengths, their external market, and the implications for the business. These organizations are not just surviving, but they are finding innovative ways to achieve better than expected profits and excel past the competition. Businesses that understand the situation can navigate an economic downturn in a way that capitalizes on opportunities. Those who don’t know enough about themselves or the external market will be inclined to take a conservative approach, leading to defensive and piecemeal actions. Most damaging of all, these businesses risk losing out to their competitors.

In order for an organization to be resilient, it is necessary for it to be innovative and flexible at all times and effectively manage risks. Yet in this highly competitive, global and increasingly complex business environment, organizations are continually challenged to determine how to manage those risks. They must also manage the degree of uncertainty and associated risks they are prepared to accept as they endeavour to maximize opportunities to create stakeholder value.

This challenge is overcome by establishing a culture of resilience rather than just a short-term reactionary approach to making decisions, which is based on strategic planning. Organizations must also have operational solutions focused on the customer as well as strategic solutions, focused upon the medium and long-term objectives and values of the organization.

A business resilience model encompassing the tactical, operational and strategic aspects of business operations has the greatest chance of success.

For more information on how to help your business weather the economic storm, please contact me or your local MNP advisor.