Operational Resilience: Considerations for Boards, the C-Suite and Enterprisewide Implementation
Since the beginning of 2020, organizations have been working tirelessly to address the range of complex issues accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic. While this work continues for many organizations, forward-thinking business leaders are also looking beyond the crisis to operationalize new strategies that will help them build resilient enterprises for many decades to come.
Resilience is not about preventing operational outages or shocks but about how organizations prepare themselves to absorb events so they can recover quickly and continue to function or operate effectively. In a post-pandemic environment, technology will still create opportunities and vulnerabilities. Outsourcing to vendors and third-party contractors will provide efficiencies and reduce cost, but also create concentration and supply chain risks. The sophistication of cyber threats will continue to increase, and, surely, another ravaging pandemic in the not-so-distant future is no longer outside the realm of possibilities.
In consultation with operational risk experts and regulators around the world, Protiviti’s thought leaders have been discussing and weighing the key considerations that should be top of mind for business leaders as they strategize over how to build resilience and thrive in a new and increasingly risky business environment. The insights developed from these engagements have been compiled in a series of white papers published over the past year.
In this report, we share several of the insights on operational resilience. The report includes a detailed discussion on the board’s role in overseeing operational resilience and key considerations for directors; an analysis of the key concepts and practices that C-suite leaders need to understand to build operational resilience; and a checklist of practical steps firms need to implement a resilience plan across the enterprise.
Visit our Operational Resilience web site to access additional insights and our industry-leading operational resilience framework.
Driving operational resilience from the C-suite
The actions and decisions of C-suite leaders are typically driven by strategies designed to guide businesses toward growth and success. These plans invariably contain many assumptions. One is the expectation that their organizations will be able to deliver goods and services to customers even under stressful conditions — an expectation of resilience that is sometimes ill-conceived and unsupported.
Operational resilience gets a makeover in the “new normal”
Churchill said he strived “to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year — and to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.” His acknowledgment of the futility in predicting the future is especially apropos today as markets transition to the eventual “new normal.”
Implementing operational resilience across the organization: An essential checklist
Like any enterprisewide organizational change, implementing an operational resilience program across an organization requires a careful and collaborative effort to be successful. Whether implementation has been in the works for several years or is just beginning, turning the resilience program from concept to reality is hard work.