BUILD your organization’s resilience capacity

A Harvard Business Review Analytics Services report (HBR, 2016), Building Capacity for Change, concluded that “In the face of constant change and the possibility of failure, the vast majority of organizations aren’t effectively managing change and can’t meet most of the objectives they identify (p. 10).” However, almost 25% of organizations of all sizes reported that they DO. How would you answer for your organization?

What is happening differently at change successful organizations?

The report offers observations about what makes the difference in planned change success. They identify the use of metrics, milestones, clear roles and responsibilities, and flawless project management; the strategic roles of the Chief Technology Officer, the Chief Human Resources Officer, and valid data; and a diligent focus on culture and a skilled, empowered workforce. The mere presence of these factors isn’t enough, though. An organization must configure them to better meet its change objectives.

What about responding to unplanned change and adversity? The HBR report notes the use of predictive analytics such as scenario planning, as well as gathering field reports, analyzing social media sentiment, and monitoring market conditions and competitor moves. There was another strategy mentioned briefly.

Use ready, but often untapped, change resources to build change capability

The HBR report also noted that most organizational cultures have positive components that leaders can tap into “immediately in order to drive change” (p. 6, my italics); and, I would add, respond to unexpected change. A fast start would be a powerful advantage. What types of positive resources are these? The example given in the report is tapping into what frontline employees already need and want to accomplish in order to move change efforts along. That would create valuable alignment What if we could tap into how employees already work together in ways valuable for change response? What if we could assess and strengthen specific beliefs and behaviors important to responding productively to change and challenge?

Develop an employee-built asset – organizational resilience capacity

The capacity for organizational resilience, a collective ability to respond productively to change and challenge, is a positive asset built up as employees work together and is supported (or deterred) by vital conditions in the organization. If developed, it is a ready resource that can be available immediately.

Get started with data

Our research identifies which specific beliefs and behaviors are activated when an organization responds with resilience. Our Organizational Resilience Capacity Survey© assesses their presence. Start with strengths and ask how you can strengthen and leverage these for a hard to duplicate strategic advantage.

I look forward to discussing how to measure, strengthen, and fully activate this resilience advantage in your organization.