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Protecting reputation tops business leaders list of priorities, ahead of financial achievements and business leadership, according to the world’s first benchmark of organizational resilience published by BSI.

The study found that reputation is seen as the most important element to the long term success of the business, even more than financial aspects, leadership and vision and purpose. Despite this, 43 percent of those interviewed as part of the global study, believed their organization was strongly susceptible to reputational risk. 

1,250 senior leaders of organizations across the globe participated in the study, which covered ten sectors across three regions: UK and Ireland, USA and Asia Pacific. 

The magnitude of reputational risk was found to vary by geography. Globally 62 percent rate their organization’s current reputation as excellent or very good, but this figure rises to 75 percent in the US and falls to 55 percent and 56 percent in the UK and Ireland and Asia Pacific respectively.

Out of the 16 elements that make up organizational resilience, the study found that the most and least important are:

Most important

  1. Reputational risk
  2. Financial aspects
  3. Leadership
  4. Vision and purpose
  5. Information and knowledge management.

Least important

  1. Horizon scanning
  2. Alignment
  3. Community engagement
  4. Culture
  5. Adaptive capacity.

The study also investigated how these elements ranked in terms of perceived performance. It found:

Highest performing

  1. Financial aspects
  2. Alignment
  3. Leadership
  4. Vision and purpose
  5. Governance and accountability.

Worst performing

  1. Supply chain
  2. Innovation
  3. Horizon scanning
  4. Information and knowledge management
  5. Awareness, training and testing.

Supply chain was perceived as the least resilient of the elements. The research found this to be largely as a result of senior business leaders feeling less in control of supply chain processes, as they reside outside of their organization. This places an onus on leaders to focus on maintaining the proper procedures to ensure their supply chains are as visible as possible, whilst using governance frameworks to maintain the highest ethics within their supply chain.

Horizon scanning was identified as the least important aspect of resilience, with one third believing their organizations are average to poor at horizon scanning. This is the case for businesses of all ages, where a lack of processes and systems mean that organizations are unable to learn from past events, understand potential threats, and make the changes they need to.

Report methodology

The BSI Organizational Resilience Index surveyed 1,263 senior executives from organizations in 10 sectors (aerospace, automotive, the built environment, energy, finance, food, healthcare, manufacturing, professional services, telecoms/IT). The study was conducted across three regions (UK and Ireland, US and Asia Pacific: Australia, Japan, China and India). The survey was conducted in the first half of 2017.

More details.

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