If there’s one thing people around the world have learned in 2020, it’s this: nothing is certain. When most of us expected life to go on as usual, COVID-19 wiped out almost all our hopes and plans for the future, leaving us lost and confused on what now lies ahead—or if there’s even going to be something that lies ahead.
For businesses and organizations like Omni, the pandemic is a force that stirred their operations to frenzy. They had no choice but to adjust to a rapidly and drastically changing economic landscape. Startups and small businesses are especially the most affected, as staying afloat became the number one challenge they had to work around with every single day.
With this global crisis seeing little to no light at the end of the tunnel, organizations are urged to invest in forward planning and risk management to achieve business resiliency; but, what does being resilient mean in business?
Defining Business Resiliency
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines business resilience as “the ability of an organization to absorb and adapt in a changing environment.” In a world where crises are naturally part of the unforeseen future, businesses need to be resilient to adjust to disruptions while maintaining continuous operations. When organizations are able to not only survive but thrive in the face of crises, they are what we call a resilient business.
The Principles of Building Resilient Businesses
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to achieving business resilience. However, embracing these principles and incorporating them into your policies and decision-making processes can be of advantage, whether there’s an ongoing crisis or not.
Different situations require different solutions. In the case of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s difficult to tell when we are going to return to our normal lives, or what would that normal life even look like in the post-pandemic world. In this current state of indefinite uncertainty, strategic adaptability is of utmost importance, and that means structuring your business in ways that allow it to evolve when necessary.
Start by incorporating adaptability into your daily operations. Cultivate an environment where change is embraced and innovation is encouraged. A conscious effort should be made to create new ways of seeing and doing things, even if they mean deviating from the custom or tradition.
Decentralizing your decision-making process by letting your team members voice out their thoughts and ideas is also advantageous in building a culture of adaptability. Having people who can bring different viewpoints into the business helps you think outside the box and make the necessary flexibility to shift to the currents of change.
Inside the organization lies a complex web of interconnected functions, which include business processes, employees, IT systems, information and assets, as well as third parties. When the crisis hits, the question of which among these parts should be prioritized arises; and oftentimes, answering that question already becomes a crisis in itself.
To solve that question, it’s critical to understand the interdependencies between all those functions. Dig deep into what makes these separate parts connected—how your business processes affect your team members’ welfare and performance, the role of your IT systems in disseminating and protecting your organization’s information and assets, and how these functions collectively support the production and delivery of your products or services.
Then, map out your game plan. Where do you start if a disruption occurs? Which function would most likely cause the rest of the other parts to crumble if the former fails? Look at the big picture but don’t forget to examine and consider every detail. Remember that your prioritization process should be aligned with your business objectives, strategies, and products or services.
Leading in times of crisis is often more challenging than “normal” times. However, to build and cultivate a resilient business, the leader should be one of the strongest foundations that can support and empower the entire organization.
During these times, keep in mind that your goal is to reduce loss and keep things operating as normal as possible. It’s on your shoulders to ensure that the business has the resources to weather the storm and assure that the employees are at no risk of losing their jobs.
Business-related matters aside, it’s also essential to be more conscious about your own emotions, needs, and behaviors. Crisis leadership can take a toll on your mental health, especially if such huge responsibilities are at stake in your hands. By paying more attention to yourself, you’ll be more equipped to make proper decisions in containing the crisis and leading your people through it.
In today’s era where social media becomes one of, if not the main, source of information about the COVID-19 situation, we’re also battling against another “pandemic” of a different kind: fake news and misinformation.
As an organization going through a global health crisis, it’s essential to ensure that only the most reliable, up-to-date information is disseminated to your team members. This helps provide tactical guidance for your business and demonstrates to the employees that the management is concerned, involved, and always on top of the situation.
If you’re in charge, take charge. Provide them with a big picture of what’s happening, then explain what your organization is doing in response to that. Communicate your current and future plans, and make sure they’re received and acknowledged by all the members of your team. Remember that in facing the unknown, transparency among your employees is your best reassurance.
Cultivating business resiliency cannot be achieved overnight. It’s a continuous process that involves not only one person but all the people in the organization. Integrating resilience planning not only for the pandemic but also for the infinite number of unforeseen circumstances that may come will ensure that your business is able to survive and prosper no matter the situation.
Omni Channel Solutions remain resilient in the face of uncertainty and chaos brought about by the pandemic. Since its inception in 2017, the organization has been continuously building strong foundations that can withstand adversities. Omni’s growth during the crisis is a strong testament to that, showcasing an increase of 200% in terms of employee headcount from March 2020 to April 2021.
With adaptive culture, effective leadership, and strong communication, Omni Channel Solutions has become the epitome of business resiliency. This makes us adapt to the changing demands of our clients as well as the economic landscape. Here at Omni, growth doesn’t stop when uncertainty abounds. Work with us today and see what more we can offer.
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