Given the COVID pandemic, it is becoming increasingly important that organisations are resilient as well as innovative. What does that really mean though?

The advent of digital technologies such as mobile, analytics, social, AI, block chain and more are continuously changing the competitive landscape. A study by the Harvard Business Review states that the average lifespan of companies has reduced from 60 years to 18 years (Knight 2014).  Companies pride themselves on moving quicker to keep up with change so they can better meet the needs of their customers (McKinsey&Company 2019). Speed of product to market or speed of change is often lauded as a benchmark for success, however what if we’re looking at this all wrong? What if, the benchmark is not speed but endurance? (Knight 2014) This trait of an organisation to weather the storm is referred to by many names – Adaptability, Agility, Corporate Endurance or Enterprise Resilience.

Enterprise Resilience is defined as the quality of constantly analysing, understanding and adapting to meet the changes in the competitive landscape (Erol, Sauser et al. 2010, Sanchis and Poler 2013, Gill, Chew et al. 2016, Mohamed and Galal-Edeen 2019). Resilience isn’t an end goal, but rather a continuous process. The concept of Resilience isn’t only about withstanding the change but also to create the muscle to continuously sense, adapt and grab the opportunities change presents (Alberti, Ferrario et al. 2018). Throughout history the following “abilities” have been seen frequently alongside Resilience to describe the characteristics of a resilient enterprise: “Bounce-back” ability, Adaptability and Transformability.

Characteristic Definition References 
Sense-ability Identify the organisation’s current state vulnerabilities and cultivate existing or new abilities that can counter these vulnerabilities. Using sense-ability it is equally important to understand potential future adversities and their implications on the enterprise. (Kantur and Is¸eri-Say 2012, Manyena,  Machingura et al. 2019) 
“Bounce” ability Bounce ability is a pre-requisite step required to meet the goal of adaptability in the enterprise. When change or adversity hits, “bounce” ability allows the organisation to navigate from the situation and steer the organisation to a safe “holding” zone till the crisis is averted.  (Erol, Sauser et al. 2010, Kantur and Is¸eri- Say 2012, Sanchis and Poler 2013, Limnios, Mazzarol et al. 2014, Edgeman 2015, Gill, Chew et al. 2016, Manyena, Machingura et  al. 2019) 
Adaptability “Bounce” ability provides the required inputs to serve the goal of adaptability in an enterprise. Adaptability is the ability of an organisation to recover from the disruption and re-align their strategies, processes and operations to continue delivering business value in response to the adversity. It also allows the functioning of an organisation regardless of the disruption. This, however, is often a temporary measure.  (Erol, Sauser et al. 2010, Kantur and Is¸eri- Say 2012, Sanchis and Poler 2013, Limnios, Mazzarol et al. 2014, Edgeman 2015, Gill,  Chew et al. 2016, Manyena, Machingura et al. 2019, Mohamed and Galal-Edeen 2019) 
Transformability Transformability is a more long term goal towards resilience. Transformation involves adapting to the change as the new normal through at diversifying the current business to accommodate for the new business needs. This step is critical as it involves revising the enterprise’s existing functions and training its employees to prepare for the adversity and its effects.  (Sanchis and Poler 2013, Edgeman 2015, Gill, Chew et al. 2016, Manyena, Machingura et al. 2019, Mohamed and  Galal-Edeen 2019) 
Characteristics of resilient enterprises

There needs to be a better understanding of using technology for enterprise resilience. There are a few frameworks and methodologies in the market which allow us to be resilient. How is your organisation tackling the issue of enterprise resilience? What measures have been effective?

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