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The six resilience characteristics of EMEA’s top performing organizations

Organizational resilience is achieved through a series of actions that ensure the security, well-being, and success of businesses and individuals. By prioritizing and investing resources to strengthen resilience, organizations can take proactive measures to reduce the impact of critical events.

To better understand resilience and its direct correlation to organizational success, Everbridge and Atos sought the help of Dr. Stefan Vieweg, Director of the Institute for Compliance and Corporate Governance (ICC) at the Rheinische Fachhochschule in Cologne, Germany. 

His research revealed seven key aspects of resilience and the six key characteristics of the highest performing organizations across Europe, with a range of employees from under 3,000 to over 100,000.

1. Defined corporate values

The top organizations have clearly defined corporate values and an awareness and commitment to those values. These values begin at the executive level, but rely on support from all team members to succeed toward a common goal.

2. Clearly outlined risk and resilience strategy

They share a knowledge of risk culture and a clearly outlined risk and resilience strategy. This shows that organizations who have a plan in place and dedicate time to learning about risks are more likely to succeed.

3. Operationalized resilience goals

They create explicit resilience goals that are actively operationalized. The most effective organizations at managing risk don’t stop at creating a strategy, no matter how good it is. They put it into action and make changes as needed.

4. Effective risk management processes

They have effective risk management processes, systems, and methodologies, specifically including the use of early warning systems. Organizations that implement early warning systems can detect and take action on hyper-relevant risks to people, assets, and facilities faster than ever before.

5. Recruit and retain required competencies

They demonstrate a commitment to recruiting, developing, and retaining employees with the required competencies for critical event management and resilience efforts. This shows that investing in resilience is not only about technology as in number 4, but also about the development and retention of in-house talent to manage these projects.

6. Operate with risk-reducing measures

They are willing to operate with risk-reducing measures, including monitoring of operations and taking any changes to strategy very seriously. It takes a high level of commitment to change processes that took time and effort to implement, but the safety and well-being of their team members is the main vision.

How do these characteristics tie together?

The biggest takeaway is that the most resilient organizations in Dr. Vieweg’s research were not just visionaries, but rather executed on resilience goals and strategies. Several of the characteristics are linked together to detail this, in terms of actively operationalizing and committing to strategies and values. How often do organizations truly uphold the words in their mission statements? The more they do, the better the odds are of being more resilient.

The list of characteristics also shows that investing in people and technology goes a long way toward a successful resilience plan.  

Plenty of room for growth

The study goes on to reveal that there are significant areas of improvement even among organizations fulfilling best practices. Critical events are not only unpredictable, but sometimes unpreventable. Because of that, taking proactive measures to reduce their impact is vital to resilience. While the research shows that many organizations often possess an awareness of the importance of resilience, there is an unwillingness to invest in or execute preventative measures, especially in the areas of digitization and automation.

To learn more about Dr. Vieweg’s research and read further analysis from the study, download our eBook, “The Research Behind Resilience: Why Prioritizing and Investing in Resilience Matters.”

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