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When Organizations Hurt: The Business of Continuity and Resilience



Crisis management has become top of mind for executives and business leaders scrambling to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

When organizations hurt, everything becomes a top priority—C and D tasks become fire drills overnight—busyness suddenly feels like a full-time job. Already stressed workers often translate this type of busy work as something happening behind the scenes—increasing their anxiety. Everyday tasks feel heavier, leaving little room for creative problem solving.

Broken systems and processes become more obvious during a crisis.


Business Continuity and Resiliency Planning



As this pandemic forces everyone to take stock of what’s working today, what’s not working, and what may never work again, the resilience of organizations is being stress-tested—serving as a wake-up call for those without business continuity and resiliency plans and presenting opportunities for leaders with existing plans to assess and adjust in preparation for a post-pandemic world. 

Business continuity and resiliency planning is the process of creating systems for the prevention and recovery of potential threats to a company. The goal is to ensure that critical functions are recoverable following a disaster.

Components that typically go into BC planning:

  Scoping the plan

  Identifying key business areas

  Identifying critical functions

  Identifying dependencies between various business areas and functions

  Determining acceptable downtime for each critical function

  Creating a plan to maintain operations

Resilient crisis management focuses on raising awareness, developing a set of strategies, and educating team members about roles and responsibilities in a crisis. Does your organization have clear communication channels? Is there a chain of command for communicating consistent messaging about a crisis as it unfolds? Does the workforce know what you’re asking of them (call to action) and when it’s required?

Muddled messaging during crises only serve to slow business continuity efforts. 


Resilience and Change Management


Resilient is someone or something that bounces back into shape or recovers quickly.

Resilience planning assists the business in getting back to normal. Business Continuity (BC) and Resilience Planning teams will lead their organizations in performing post-pandemic assessments and in the development of future plans.

But what will a “new normal” look like? And what will businesses need to do to prepare for future crises that include global pandemics?

As the complexity of managing the people side of change grows—from long-term remote work to preparing the workforce for human/machine collaborations—we’ll see companies scaling their Organizational Change Management (OCM) strategies in order to incorporate them into BC and Resiliency Planning.

Collaborations will look and feel different in the coming months, especially for those who have never experienced the challenges of remote work. Managers who’ve denied staff requests for remote work (“I like to see work getting done”) may find themselves now struggling as they attempt to coach their staffs on effective problem-solving, prioritizing deliverables, and efficiently getting things done when people are in virtual rooms and possibly different time zones. 

Remote leadership requires trust.


How Resilience Relates to Emotional Intelligence

When organizations hurt, workforce emotions can run high. And since Resilience Planning focuses on how businesses can maintain their usual operations in the face of unexpected disasters, it’s critical that leaders address organizational blind spots. 

People acclimate to their hurts, so much so that the pain of doing something about them becomes something to brush aside and ignore—that is, until the next crisis hits.  

Resilience in a post-pandemic world will require more than “bouncing back” to what existed before the crisis. Preventing threats to the business will require BC and Resilience planners to possess emotional maturity and a deep understanding of EQ as the organization grapples with continuous change within complex environments. 

When organizations hurt, people hurt. That’s where the real risk lies. 


Consider joining us for our upcoming virtual program that kicks off June 4. We’ll cover Business Continuity and Resilience Planning in Lesson 3. You can learn more at Seeding Change.