In today’s changing business environment, organisational resilience must be seen as a strategic, top level priority as it enables firms to maintain continuity and viability.
Business continuity (BC), as a key discipline within the resilience framework, must articulate this message. Exercising BC plans, viewed from this strategic lens, is an opportunity to gauge resilience. It is fitting therefore that this year’s Business Continuity Awareness Week focuses on the role of exercises in building organisational resilience.
One of the challenges of organisational resilience is identifying ‘what resilience looks like’ for a given firm. Regular exercising is a chance to see ‘resilience in action’, an opportunity to assess whether plans pass muster. Deployed within an agile BCM Lifecycle that takes into account known and emerging risks, exercising is a valuable tool that guides corporate governance.
Exercising is a ‘business enabler’. It demonstrates how resilience is built ‘from the boardroom to the storeroom’. It shows top management, as well as the rank and file, how BC impacts a firm’s performance during times of increased stress. When planned in concert with other protective disciplines, exercising becomes a powerful instruction tool that furthers business performance.
As with any other tool, exercising must be used in an appropriate way. The BCI Guide on Exercising Your BC Plan, due to be published on the Wednesday during BCAW, offers suggestions on deciding which exercise may be recommended for certain situations. This is hoped to be a useful reference for BC professionals, and help in framing exercises as a way to build resilience within an organisation.
To conclude, it is important to realise how exercising builds organisational resilience. By framing it within a firm’s strategic priorities, BC professionals can promote buy in and leverage insights from exercising as a key component of governance.
Patrick Alcantara Patrick Alcantara is a Research Associate for the Business Continuity Institute who joined after finishing a Masters in Lifelong Learning with distinction from the Institute of Education (University of London) and Deusto University.