The resilience imperative: Succeeding in uncertain times

From CEO’s desk

Resilience Imperative

2020 was a wake-up call of every sort, probably! The COVID-19 pandemic which shook every one in untold ways, also continues to send compelling messages & take aways constantly  for such Catastrophic events are less predictable. They will unfold faster but in more varied ways. This heralds the need for a new approach for survival – at every instance be it – The digital and technology revolution, climate change, and geopolitical uncertainty.

To thrive in the coming years, its almost imperative that companies must develop resilience—the ability to withstand unpredictable threat or change and then to emerge stronger. “Develop resilience” is easy to say but hard to define, and yet harder to implement. We as a leadership consulting & Search firm reiterate that time has come for one & all to realise that its imperative to be resilient.  In a world where the future is uncertain and change comes fast, companies need to look beyond short-term performance and basic organizational health. They must be able not only to withstand unpredictable threat or change but to emerge stronger. In short, they need to be resilient.

The resilience imperative

The digital revolution has increased the availability of data, the degree of connectivity, and the speed at which decisions are made. This offers transformational promise but also comes with potential for large-scale failure and security breaches, together with rapid cascading of consequences. It also increases the speed at which a company’s reputation can change in the eyes of consumers and employees.

Having highly adaptable business models means that you actually serve every opportunity & every opportunity become your customer! The fact that you can adapt to significant shifts in customer demand, the competitive landscape, technological changes, and the regulatory terrain. This involves maintaining an innovation portfolio and valuing entrepreneurship in a very agile manner. Particularly during times of crisis, resilient organizations will place strategic bets to evolve their business models.

The changing climate presents structural shifts to companies’ risk-return profiles, which will accelerate nonlinearly. Companies need to navigate concerns for their immediate bottom line together with pressures from governments, investors, and society at large. All this while natural disasters are growing more frequent and severe.

Corporates must necessarily balance short- and longer-term financial aims. A solid capital position and sufficient liquidity enables organizations to weather rapid drops in revenue, increased cost, or credit issues. This could also open up exploring all & sundry sources of increasing the top line. Cross selling could be the key to untap this prospect. Every penny saved is a penny earned.

Companies in the manufacturing space need to maintain robust production capacity that can both flex to meet changes in demand as well as remain stable in the face of operational disruption, all without sacrificing quality. Marginal costing & marginal revenue approach could prove to be more sensible. Optimising supply chains and delivery mechanisms to maintain operational capacity.

Making talent resilient – is the key to success today.  While impactful decisions are being made on hiring, its equally important to ensure that the workforce remains extremely focussed & connected with your Company. Talent development upskilling or reskilling your employees flexibly and much more rapidly, by implementing strong people processes that are free of bias, could be the start for this. While promoting fast and agile decision making, its important for Corporates to embrace the practical constraints of remote working.

“You are what you do”,  or “You are only as good as your team” – While it takes a lot to get the best team for yourself, the never failing attribute which truly sets you apart as Company would be  – “Integrity & accountability”. A wide range of stakeholders—from employees to customers to regulators to investors to society at large—increasingly looks to hold firms accountable in a range of ways, spanning from their brand promise to their stance on environmental, social, and governance.

Resilience could mean as something simple as – setting the bar high for yourself knowing its tough & just holding on whether its—enshrined in mission, values, and purpose, or commitments or philosophies. It also requires immense flexibility and openness in listening to and communicating with stakeholders, anticipating, and addressing expectations and responding to reality in pragmatic ways. While we believe we have it in us or would want to believe so, we also need to recognise the imperative need to develop resilience especially in these uncertain times.