Organisational resilience: a case study of low resilience

On September 8, 2015

What do you do when the rats start to abandon ship? Is this a sign the ship is sinking or has it sprung a repairable leak? We are currently working on an interesting incident that has demonstrated the fragility of the organisation.

Having done the wrong thing, and then been discovered, the small organisation went into melt down. Although there were no plans or strategy, these were easy to fix. However, the fragile nature of the relationships with key stakeholders were not so easy to deal with.

When your normal business practice does not involve proactive stakeholder engagement, you can’t expect a throng of support when you have stuffed up.

This particular incident has had a significant impact on the directors. You can see their mental state slide quickly to a state of panic where rationality and logic disappear.

After sleepless nights the paranoia sets in.   Strategic advice is questioned and challenged as the directors want to pullover the covers, close their eyes and hope that this situation fixes itself.

In this state, we have to transform from crisis managers to counsellors, reassuring them that things will be okay and the end of the world is not upon us, yet.

So the key question for you is this.

If you made a mistake, who would come and stand in your corner and offer support? If you don’t know the answer to this then perhaps you should consider your own organisational resilience and put some time and effort into developing a plan to improve it.

A key part of crisis preparedness is strengthening key business relationships so that when a crisis hits, you are not alone in your corner. There are people prepared to support you and help you fix the leaky ship. Only then is your organisation more resilient.

By David Hawkins