As organisations and their people grapple with the impact of pervasive uncertainty, building resilience remains of critical importance.
While Covid prompted a shift in business focus to prepare for a possible future “black swan” event (a low-probability, high impact event), the turmoil of the last twelve months has underlined the need for resilient businesses.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the consequent disruption and delays to the global supply chain, inflation levels not seen for over forty years and rising skills shortages have reinforced the twin needs of preparedness and resilience. Many businesses have shifted from “just in time” efficiency to more resilient “just in case” processes.
Fifteen years ago, in a prescient article in the Harvard Business Review, Paul Michelman cited a SARS outbreak (a close relation of Covid) as an example of a high impact/low probability event bringing significant supply chain disruption for which businesses were ill-prepared. His advice to organisations on building resilient supply chains to better respond to disruption included: increasing redundancy (retaining unused stock, capacity and workers “just in case”); increasing flexibility; and culture change (including distributed power to take action, continuous communication and passion for work).
Personal resilience at work represents an individual’s ability to recover from or manage adversity. In difficult times, a resilient workforce is of key strategic importance for organisations, requiring employers to pay ever-greater attention to wellbeing and training and development programmes to support this. While there is much employers can do to develop workforce resilience, the shift in recruitment from a reliance on qualifications and experience to a greater focus on a candidate’s potential, using predictive recruitment and skills based assessments, will enable employers to elevate these capabilities in their recruitment decisions.