Strategic resilience is not about responding to a onetime crisis. It’s not about rebounding from a setback. It’s about continuously anticipating and adjusting to deep, secular trends that can permanently impair the earning power of a core business, organisation or government. It’s about having the capacity to change before the case for change becomes desperately obvious. (Gary Hamel, Harvard Business Review)
Erroneously, resilience is not only a planning mechanism for disaster management. It is also a business model tool for governments and organisations, in today’s fast changing world. The environment has shifted incrementally, we must now also shift to manage and lead in this changing environment, incrementally.
Successful platforms, particularly those that have enjoyed a relatively benign environment, find it extraordinarily difficult to reinvent their business models. When confronted by paradigm-busting turbulence, they often experience a deep and prolonged reversal of will power and drive for change.
As we settle down now as a country and as a nation, we must build capacity. This restoration and re-construction must be cemented by the underpinning of Resilience. We cannot afford to be reliant on old habits and practices. We cannot afford to be on a ‘same old, same old’ approach. We must have an attitude of survivability and ‘business continuity’.
We must now review our business model’ and reflect on the ‘ lessons learnt’ approach. Doing this brings the concept of resilience to the fore. Our planners and strategists will have to adopt a posture that is known in military planning as future operations planning. This is the crucial influence to the generation and development of forces in the field of long-term planning. Concept development, together with the strategic analysis and global trend analysis, is one of the most important tools for the force development and employment within defence planning processes.
In many developed nations, leaders are adopting this “best practice” in their mind mapping and research. They are applying this mechanism and approach as a contribution for meaningful solutions to sustainable development.
The following are key indicators why we must factor in resilience in our strategic intent.
The Cognitive Challenge: A government must become entirely free of denial, nostalgia, and arrogance. It must be deeply conscious of what’s changing and perpetually willing to consider how those changes are likely to affect its current success and performance.
The Strategic Challenge: Resilience requires alternatives as well as awareness—the ability to create a plethora of new options as compelling alternatives to dying strategies and failed initiatives.
The Political Challenge: There MUST be a political will, a government must be able to divert resources from yesterday’s products and programs to tomorrow’s. This doesn’t mean funding flights of fancy; it means building an ability to support a broad portfolio of breakout experiments and projects with the necessary capital and talent. It further exemplifies the adoption of a project governance approach.
The Ideological Challenge: Many question and challenge the doctrine of optimisation. But optimising a business model that is slowly becoming irrelevant can’t secure a nation’s future. If renewal is to become continuous and opportunity-driven, rather than reactive, episodic and crisis-driven, governments will need to embrace a creed that extends beyond operational excellence and flawless execution. Transparency must become pre-dominant.
These start up points are a launch pad to revising our strategy along the concept of Resilience. This approach, this renewed culture would entail a robust involvement of Innovation and research driven initiatives. Resilience must be adopted as a mind-set and a household name as we align our strategy to policy and operationalising as a nation and a society intended to assume the ascension on the development curve.