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Business leaders’ confidence in the resilience of their organizations has faltered for the first time since 2017, according to the third annual Organizational Resilience Index report, published by BSI, which surveys 800 senior leaders across the globe.

‘Adaptive capacity’ is now seen as the most important factor to maintain organizational resilience, up 10 places on last year’s Index and overtaking financial management. It appears that an increase in the disruptive effects of technology, alongside changes to government policies and regulation, are the driving forces behind the adaptive capacity focus. Those surveyed in the report, identify technology as both the greatest opportunity and most severe threat to their success. The Index finds that ‘innovation’, ‘horizon scanning’, and ‘adaptive capacity’ have the greatest impact on organizational resilience, but that relative performance in these areas has declined over the last 12 months.

Howard Kerr, Chief Executive at BSI, said: “While we have seen a changing emphasis in organizational resilience in the past, this year reveals a decline in organizations’ ability to adapt to change.

“In order to survive and prosper, business leaders must be aware of issues on the horizon and remain vigilant in ensuring that they – along with their teams – are focused on strategic priorities. In balancing short-term business results with long-term resilience, businesses can use this year’s uncertainty as a springboard to future success.”

Of the 16 elements that make up organizational resilience the report found that the most and least important are (+/- numbers denote annual move in rank):

Highest impact elements (from highest to lowest):

  • Adaptive Capacity (+10)
  • Leadership (=)
  • Alignment (+10)
  • Horizon Scanning (+10)
  • Vision and Purpose (+2)
  • Innovation (+6)
  • Resource Management (+2)
  • Awareness and Training (-3)
  • Culture (+1)
  • Financial Management (-9)
  • Suppliers Management (+2)
  • Reputational Risk (-6)
  • Information and Knowledge Management (-6)
  • Governance and Accountability (-10)
  • Community Engagement (+1)
  • Business Continuity (-8)

Highest performing elements (from highest to lowest):

  • Financial Management (=)
  • Vision and Purpose (+1)
  • Business Continuity (+11)
  • Information and Knowledge Management (+3)
  • Leadership (+3)
  • Suppliers Management (=)
  • Governance and Accountability (-5)
  • Reputational Risk (-4)
  • Awareness and Training (-4)
  • Resource Management (=)
  • Innovation (+1)
  • Culture (+2)
  • Adaptive Capacity (+2)
  • Community Engagement (+2)
  • Alignment (-6)
  • Horizon Scanning (-4)

Obtain the report.

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