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How to Build Organizational Resilience

Building organizational resilience is a process that starts with the self-awareness of an organization's natural strengths and weaknesses. This leads to designing a strategy for developing sustainable resources, adapting to changing conditions, and sustaining the organization over time.

The end result: organizations are more able to withstand disruptions such as extreme weather events, pandemics, changes in customer demand, or major shifts in technology.

Here are some key steps you can take in order to build your company's resilience.



Step 1: Understand Your Organization's Strengths & Weaknesses

Organizations must first understand their natural strengths and weaknesses before they can build sustainable solutions during disruptive times. Knowing what it takes for your company or institution to thrive will help you make better decisions when faced with challenges like changing social landscapes that might threaten to disrupt your organization.

By identifying your organization's strengths and weaknesses, you can undertake a risk management process to build a more resilient organization.

Step 2: Anticipate what is happening in your industry and in the world at large.

The first step in anticipating coming changes is truly knowing who your customers are and what they need. Additionally, what keeps your customers loyal to you in particular? Understanding these factors can help maintain those relationships even when disruptions occur.

Stay up-to-date with trends or potential threats by reading articles relevant to your industry and watching documentaries on current events. This can include things like:

  • changes in technology,

  • economic trends, political events, and

  • natural disasters.

You'll need to do your research so that you're not caught off-guard when these forces come into play. This will give you time to make decisions about how to react or mitigate the effects of these forces as they unfold.

Have a management team that is prepared for change. Be prepared to act on challenges or opportunities that may arise. If you follow these steps, then you will be able to keep pace with the changes of our ever-changing society.

Step 3: Adapt to Change by Empowering Your Team to Organize and Participate in Different Ways

The most effective way to empower your team is to ensure a shared sense of purpose and complete alignment towards that mission. It’s important for business leaders to clearly identify that shared purpose and inform each team member of their role in accomplishing that purpose. From there, leadership’s role is to step away and let your team own the process.

Too many would-be leaders believe that a hands-on approach is the most effective way to ensure the team is doing everything it can to achieve the mission. This is micro-management—not empowerment.

Instead, set up “lane markers” that your team can use to guide themselves through the process of change. When able to identify issues and engage in problem-solving themselves, you open the process up to ingenuity you might not know you have available.

Will they make mistakes? Probably.

However, with a clear framework and guidelines for participation, those mistakes should be minor and could lead to more effective solutions moving forward. This improves your team's ability to adapt and fosters the growth of a more resilient culture.

How Can We Help?

The end result of this process is that organizations are more able to withstand disruptions, whether foreseeable or not. There are a few key steps you can take to start building your organization’s resilience. Understanding your company's strengths and weaknesses will make it easier for you to create a strategy for developing sustainable resources and adapting to changing conditions.


Contact Erin today to see how Black Fox Strategy can assist in making your company more resilient in the long term.