Build the resilience your business needs to cope with future shocks
2019 or 2020 a succession of financial crisis, stock market crisis, sovereign crisis, economic and social crisis? Do the social movements in France herald the dawn of even greater economic and social challenges?
Some experts, economists and international organizations answer “yes, probably”.
Others are more measured and seem to indicate more simply that “the future is never uncertain again without taking a prognosis of proven effects at a given date”.
As for the question “Is my company ready to face it? ».
In fact, past crises have often shown that management teams and community leaders are ill-prepared for this scenario:
- Organizations are often too slow or too fast to implement appropriate measures.
- The measures adopted had no long-term effects.
- Many measures have been clumsily implemented, leading to a long-term loss of trust among local managers and employees.
- Exhaustion or isolation has resulted in the loss of some executives who have left the company or gone on “sick leave”.
Resilience to prepare the management team, community leaders, teams and organizations for the next crises
Widespread in the Anglo-American world, it could be defined as the ability of an organization (company, association, project group, etc.) to cope with a challenge, incident or setback and to overcome it despite conditions and take advantage of new opportunities despite adverse conditions.
A group of resilient executives as a person is not yet a resilient organization
Indeed, dealing with crises in organizations requires not only individual capacities, but also practice as a group.
An essential factor in dealing with crises is the degree of transparent communication within the team. It is not possible to suddenly create a transparent communication when it has not been established before.
The resilience of an organization depends on the ability to act collectively. Capacity for action consists of perception, opinion, decision and implementation.
At each of the management levels, there may be obstruction or interruption. In times of crisis, the organization cannot afford to face its obstacles.
That is why we propose that you focus on ways to strengthen your company’s resilience before the next crisis.
Ways to strengthen the resilience of your company
To enable the organization to weather a crisis, the management team and community leaders must be aware of the fundamentals of this type of situation.
These “fundamentals” are generally those that some organizations will seek to anticipate or manage “crises of all kinds” by calling on specialists, such as BRIVA, in crisis management, response plan planning, crisis communication, reflex acquisition or sharing good practices through stress.
All this expertise includes the knowledge useful to your management team and community leaders in times of crisis or major economic and social change:
The ability to react to a crisis
It is this ability to act to be able to detect and manage the onset of a crisis, to assess its severity and to be able to provide a response. At this level, the most important task is to fight to ensure safety and survival.
The ability to give meaning and direction
It is the ability to illustrate that the management team and community leaders work in an organized and concerted way, having a common vision of what is happening and describing how the organization is mobilizing to respond.
The ability to manage affect, trauma in the face of an event
It is not a question of transforming the management team and community leaders into experts in psychology, but of giving them the means to know and understand the needs of individuals in situations that can be described as “crises”.
The ability to debrief
It is the ability to collect and analyse what happened, the actions implemented and the dysfunctions in order to deduce from them the modes of good functioning.
Cultivate co-leadership and introspection
During a crisis, it is particularly important that managers at all levels communicate and interact with each other openly and as directly as possible in the form of co-leadership.
But in most organizations, the exact opposite happens:
During a crisis, less information is passed on and transmitted more slowly.
The fear of managers being dismissed for the benefit of others and ultimately for dismissal, which is sometimes at the root of this behaviour, which aims to prevent them from seeking a solution together and implementing it together.
The more this type of behaviour is present in an organization, the more difficult it will be to correct decisions quickly and adapt to rapidly changing circumstances.
It is also forgetting that “leadership” is not an individual process, but rather a form of cooperation with mutual interdependencies.
Thus, all managers must jointly ensure that information reaches the right places, that decisions are taken in the right time and that performance is best achieved throughout the organization.
The ability to look inward, involving all managers at all levels, is equally essential in order to build together before a crisis breaks out and to cope with it.
These introspections, sometimes carried out by organisations, must nevertheless comply with a principle for greater effectiveness: Trust is created by meeting mutual expectations.
For this reason, there must be clear rules and enough time to talk openly about your own teamwork. It is necessary to be able to express truths, because the fear of the truth is generally greater than the truth can be horrible.
Have a resilient strategy
A crisis rarely comes out of nowhere. Rather, it is preceded by weak signs that indicate it.
The same applies to the vulnerability of an organization: it does not emanate from a crisis, but precedes any crisis.
A resilient strategy means that the management team and local managers….
- are familiar with the company’s various development scenarios.
- acquire the ability to perceive weak signs indicating a crisis;
- have a good understanding of technical, economic and organizational vulnerability (what is the vulnerability point of our organization in a crisis situation?);
- share and know the essential business processes that must “work” despite a crisis.
Maintain personal resilience
Any crisis requires a strong organization and strong people. A management team and community leaders suffering from latent burnout syndrome are unable to lead an organization during a crisis.
Implementing long-term crisis responses also requires that the management team and community leaders also know how to manage their resources over the long term. As the popular saying goes, “anyone who wants to go far is careful with his horse”.
It is also the wisest advice to work together on a “crisis” by contributing to it according to your role and by eliminating the feeling of disaster.
That said, we are convinced that the organizations that are most likely to experience a future shock are those that are now beginning to prepare proactively.
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IMF World Economic Outlook October 2018 – https://www.imf.org/fr/publications/weo
Excerpts from some recent publications https://lexpansion.lexpress.fr/actualite-economique/qui-est-cet-economiste-qui-predit-un-crash-economique-en-2020_2038447.html – https://information.tv5monde.com/info/economie-crack-boursier-et-crise-economique-seront-ils-au-menu-de-2019-277513
- Dufourcq (2018) “bpifrance must help companies to cope with future shocks”, Les Echos
- Reboud and M. Seville (2016) “From vulnerability to resilience: developing a strategic capacity to manage risks in SMEs”, the scholar.
Coutu, D. (2002), “How resilience works”, Harvard Business Review.
A.Faustenhammer et M.Gossler (2011), “Preparing for the next crisis: what can organizations do to prepare managers for an uncertain future?”, Business Strategy.