“There’s a lot of focus on ‘plans’. They’re not the thing that’s important. It’s the process of planning that is.”
Dr Sandra Bell, CEO and Founder of the Business Resilience Company, talks to Jeremy Swinfen Green about how the process of planning for mitigating risks and how this forces you to understand vulnerabilities in the organisation, and how it responds in a crisis.
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Picked up on the word flexibility or perhaps you could call it agility. How do you build agility into organisations to make sure that they can flex during a crisis?
Well, a lot of that is practise and I have to say planning. And now I say planning with the I-N-G rather than plans. So a lot of people will– there’s a lot of focus in the risk area on plans. But actually they’re not the thing that’s important.
It’s the process of planning that is because the process of planning allows you to– it forces you to think of what could happen. And then it forces you to understand what are the vulnerabilities? How does this organisation fit together? What are the various bits of the jigsaw? How does one process hand off into another process?
And all of that knowledge and that information and also the relationships that you build, by understanding and getting that information, that is the thing that is going to be really, really important. Not just in terms of executing a known plan, but absolutely essential when you’re having to respond on the fly because you’ve already got that information. You’ve already got those relationships. And you’ve already got that understanding.