Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Organisational Resilience - the big debate!

Lyndon Bird, FBCI
There are some who argue that Organisational Resilience will become a discipline in its own right in the future, with its own set of internationally recognised standards; while others argue organisational resilience is quite simply a goal for organisations to strive for, with important contributions from a range of related but distinct disciplines, including BCM.  A further view is that organisational resilience and BCM are actually one and the same discipline.    

So what do we mean by Organisational Resilience?
To start to answer this question, the BCI Partnership set up a Subgroup last year to look into organisational resilience.  Under the leadership of Dominic Cockram, the Group has been busily reviewing existing literature and developing its own point of view to stimulate thought and discussion this Business Continuity Awareness  Week.

Where should you start?
If this is a subject that interests you, then I would highly recommend you start by reading this excellent paper that not only brings you up to speed on the current stands of thought surrounding organisational resilience, but it also offers up a number of interesting models for consideration.

The big debate – have your say
Take this opportunity to have your say and share your points of view with the BCI through their companion survey, which you can access directly from the report once you’ve read it!   They need your input to help them to shape the way ahead - so go ahead, click on the link below and getyour voice heard in the big debate!


  1. Heartilly support your comments, Lyndon - hopefully many will read the excellent paper and do the survey. I have passed on some thoughts to Dominic so I shan't repeat them here, but the paper is a great start. Let's get the debate going! As I said to Dominic, it isn't dissension that divides and destroys, it is disinterest!

  2. Thanks for the White Paper Organisational Resilience, released yesterday.

    You may be aware, the Australasian Chapter is hosting this year's Annual Lecture, and our subject is the "The CEOs' Perspective on Organisational Resilience".

    The Summary document produced by our speaker Dr Robert Kay has just been released by the Australian Federal Government - Attorney-General’s Department. It outlines the results of the meetings Robert had with 50 CEO's and their thoughts on what resilience means to the CEO's and their organisations.

    The Summary Report can be accessed at this link

    And the general TISN web site here

    Of particular interest to me is the result shown in the diagram and text on page 9 - Activities that CEOS think support preparedness.

    It appears that for CEOs, Business Continuity Plans come at the bottom of the list of importance when considering resilience. However, Scenarios and Simulations, one of the services that BC Managers should be providing, comes at the top of their list of resilience priorities. It is a very curious outcome. It should be of interest, concern and relief (possibly all at the same time) to many BC Managers, and may be influential in refocusing some of their efforts.

    There is an active resilience discussion community in Australia, through groups such as the Trusted Information Sharing Network (TISN), and Standards Australia Technical Mirror Committee for TC223. The discussions on the committee regarding resilience are among the most animated we have.

    This document and the BCI’s White Paper are excellent ways to maintain a sensible discussion about the relative position of business continuity and organisational resilience. I think they must be mutually beneficial concepts / activities and not the often confusing or conflicting disciplines that are occasionally proposed by some.