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Organizational Resilience Is Key to Successful Planning and Response

Man leading a business meeting
Man leading a business meeting
Christopher Horne

Christopher Horne

Vice-Chair, Business Continuity Institute (BCI), and Assistant Vice President, Business Continuity Management, Canada Life & Great-West Lifeco

Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic may be the most significant disruption facing organizations of all sizes. In order to provide insight and guidance on potential incident responses, the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) has been gathering details on a regular basis about real actions taken by organizations across diverse industries through its international survey, Coronavirus: Organizational Preparedness.

In its most recent report, the BCI highlighted the following trends, among others:

  • Mental health is a key consideration. 75% of organizations are now including mental health in their  response plans.
  • Organizations are expanding their supply chain reviews. 60% have reviewed the business continuity plans of tier one suppliers and beyond.
  • Organizations are looking at the sustainability of their plans. 61% have revised their business impact analysis to reflect changing priorities given the sustained impact of the pandemic. Additionally, 65% have evaluated their plans to ensure they can maintain the required level of support over the long haul.
  • A majority of respondents are conducting scenario analyses, financial modelling, or both. 55% have now undertaken scenario analysis to identify a range of potential outcomes and estimated impacts and 61% have undertaken financial modelling to determine how the organizations will be affected post-pandemic.
  • Even so, planning for the next phase is limited. Only 55% have considered their plans in the eventuality of a second or third wave.

In Coronavirus — A Pandemic Response, the BCI reports that 25% of organizations plan to return to the “old normal.” To plan for the “new normal,” progressive organizations are looking at investing in resilience, which is a more strategic and proactive focus on long-term viability.

Business continuity principles and practices are an essential contribution for an organization seeking to develop and enhance effective resilience capabilities to ensure that they can continue to support employees and meet customer public service expectations during the next inevitable incident.  

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