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People and resilience part three

In the final article in a short series, Paul Kudray explains why doing nothing is not an option when it comes to managing the issue of ‘people and resilience’.

As with every other aspect of life, when it comes to resilience, people and organizations always have options. Decisions on how to proceed will be made based on a combination of developed, processed thinking and of course - what influences us the most in life - our gut instincts.

There’s been a ton of research done to determine how people think in difficult situations. As you’d expect, reactions are partially determined by job and training. No matter whether we think like a member of the public, or a member of the responding agencies, one thing is clear: do nothing is no longer an option.

Every point has a view

Over the course of this series we have looked at:

The view of the resilience professional: I asked how we really know what the rest of the people want and need when it comes to resilience matters?

The view of the disenfranchised and disengaged people, who hate their jobs: and I asked how organizations expect those people to go out of their way to help when the business is in turmoil and crisis?

Outcomes aside, people involved in traumatic scenarios such as emergencies, crisis and disasters will either be well prepared and resilient, or they will act instinctively, reacting to what is unfolding. Natural leaders will emerge and those known for being good in times of trouble will typically shine through; paid or unpaid, expected saviour or unsung hero.

Sometimes it’s ok to be an ostrich

Climate change, advancing technology, population increases – whatever may lie behind the cause - every year brings new hazards, threats and risks. Whether you’re a resilience professional who’s confident that everything is planned for, or a member of the public, scared by the increasing number of disasters recounted by the media; now is the time to think about what we should do and how much control we want, as and when it’s our turn.

I’ve met (many) people who aren’t concerned with things that will cause them anguish, preferring to ignore the signs of what their risks are. That is their resilience choice and (for me) that’s fine if the risk they’re avoiding mitigating only affects them. It stops being fine when they work within an organization where others’ futures – and indeed lives – are at stake too.

How far do we need to go?

The question for us, as resilience professionals, is how do we ensure we can maintain the ability to reach everyone? How can we motivate and encourage those who ‘don’t give a fig’ about survival to engage when we need them to?

Whose job is it to engage them in resilience? If their disengagement stems from larger issues within the corporate culture, who needs to address and manage the shift in mindset and commitment? HR? Line management? Resilience? All of the above? Someone else?

Do we also need to be looking at the bigger picture? Should we be giving some focus to people outside of our organization in the wider community(s) we are based in and serve? If we are one of the bigger purse holders in our area – and we rely on local entities to ensure our professional survival – should we share our resources, knowledge and skills?

Resilience is a fast growing billion-dollar industry and that growth can do nothing other than continue. There is room in our industry for all of us… and many more. As the new recruits join our ranks in (what I believe will be) vast numbers, they will look to us for inspiration, mentorship and coaching. Are we the role models we want to be known as? Are we solving some of the bigger problems and inspiring both our industry chiefs with our value and the newcomers with our expertise?

Fashion

I mentioned recently that resilience is in vogue. Saving lives and providing sustainable futures for the environment and the economy has become sexy. As a species we need resilience and resilient futures.

There are ample articles discussing what constitutes resilience, organizational resilience, business continuity, emergency management and disaster recovery; for the advancement of our own development we need some industry speak and a pushing of boundaries about what we can and will be able to do. But does being scientific matter to non-resilience-industry people? Are we serving people best by keeping a black cloak around us, using complicated terminology and talking in jargon? Much that I’ve read seems to be more focused on staking an expertise claim within our field of experts, rather than trying to help people where they need it, in a way they can understand it.

Is now the time to join the dots between what we know (and can do) with who needs it and how they can understand and buy into their part?

The bottom line is that people (whoever they are) need to make the right decisions (for them and their’s), which to a large extent means making sure everyone does something rather than nothing at all. To do nothing is no longer a good option. You and I both know that. The question is, are we doing enough and saying enough in layman’s terms, to make sure they know it too?

The author

Paul KudrayAn international leader in business resilience consultancy, training and coaching; Paul Kudray, MSc FICPEM CBCI AMBCI, is an ex-emergency services commander who finished an exemplary 32 year career in the UK healthcare sector, working for the NHS - culminating in 7½ years as the Director of Resilience for one of the world’s largest ambulance services, NWAS NHS Trust. He now works with private and public sector clients around the world, training, advising, coaching and mentoring them at the highest levels about emergency and business continuity management. Paul's company is KCLContact Paul at [email protected] or via LinkedIn 



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