The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic exposed a number of vulnerabilities in the supply chain framework on a global scale. Coupled with that the issues associated with imposing restrictions on travelling and transportation on a cross-country scale, the inadequacy of needed staff, and also the need to abide by social-distancing measures all affected the overall performance of business institutions. The stated factors are required in Building a Business Resilience framework so that can be strategized and applied for gaining needed sustainability on a wider scale in the ‘New Normal’ period.
What is Business Resilience
Business Resilience is considered as the ability of the firm to quickly adapt to potential disruptions while also sustaining present business performance and safeguarding the interests of stakeholders, potential business assets, and existing brand equity. The activities and strategies undertaken associated with business resilience are focused on being dealt with by preserving existing workflows for countering the emergence of unexpected events. Training and preparation of individuals in regards to their facing a chaotic business environment, accounts to be a must for helping them respond effectively to counter emerging business challenges.
Importance of Resilience in Business
The significance of resilience from a business standpoint can be rightly understood based on the evaluation of five different aspects. The following five factors are required to be potentially evaluated for identifying the reasons prompting business resiliency and also in developing effective programs pertaining to such.
Promoting well-being of employees
Generation of training regarding the building of resilience skills contributes to enhancing the mental wellbeing of the staff so that they can effectively counter the impact of workplace stress. The same helps in building a community of highly engaged employees that potentially work for meeting different goals pertaining to business productivity, customer satisfaction, and profitability sustenance.
Adaptability to emerging challenges and changing business environment
The development of a resilient workforce encompassing business leaders, middle-level and top-level managers, and also the front-line staff stands out to be highly critical for countering sudden business challenges.
Continual Learning and Innovation
Business institutions need to foster a climate of innovation to effectively survive in the competing business environment. Thus, business organizations are required to continually focus on upgrading and enhancing the skills and capabilities of its staff. The requirement of personnel in handling risky and challenging situations tends to counter an impact on their morale and degree of resilience. Thus, the need for knowledge and skills upgradation is rightly felt.
The absence of resiliency can be vividly felt in a business institution owing to the emergence of faltering interpersonal relationships. The business leaders are thus required to encourage their personnel to reduce the feelings of negativity, which they tend to share amongst each other, and thereby focus on enhancing the level of team dynamics. The degree of internal resilience can be enhanced in terms of encouraging the team members to think on a positive note and also to interpret the challenges through a positive mindset.
Focusing on Career Development
The requirement of the staff, in gaining career growth, makes the employees focus on skills-sets and experience-based learning regards to countering adverse and challenging circumstances. The managers that tend to perceive resilience-oriented dynamics need to coach the employees in an effective manner.
Business Resilience Post COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 Pandemic is accounted to be a potentially disruptive force that significantly affected business operations around the world. It thereby requires the need for effective resilience that must be tangible in nature. Business institutions, focusing on reviving from the shock generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, are required to effectively incorporate different types of resilience factors associated with the Adaptive and Enabled aspects.
Resilience Factors associated with Adaptive Aspects
The business organizations in order to gain needed resilience, based on the adaptive aspects, are required to incorporate diverse elements like technology-based innovation, revamping of organizational structure, and also the development of novel leadership ideas. The core of the business institution is required to be adaptive in nature that helps in enabling resilience for effectively countering the impacts of emerging uncertainties.
Resilience Factors associated with Enabled Aspects
The level of interactions is mostly accounted to earn enhancement for business institutions mainly associated with the institutional edges. It is evident that the ecosystems in which the organizations tend to interact are gaining needed expansion. The edge of the organization is needed to be effective so as to enable quality interactions with diverse stakeholder groups. Thus, enabling the institutional edges for carrying out seamless interaction with the adaptive core of the firms is accounted to be an accelerated path for gaining needed resilience. With the expansion of data flow across the organizational ecosystem the need for the sensing of stimuli, associated with changes and challenges, and also real-time responses are required to gain needed intensification.
Sustainability of Business Post-COVID-19
Business organizations focusing on gaining needed sustainability and building a business resilience framework during the post-COVID-19 period are required to work on meeting the following objectives:
Engaging with Local Communities
The business institutions are required to view the local communities as potential partners that would contribute to meeting the objectives of human security, needed resilience, and long-term sustainability. Thus, companies are required to operate at the grass-roots level to understand the different human needs, gain local knowledge, and also to generate quality solutions customized for meeting local aspirations.
Rethinking of Business Models
Working based on models like the Just-in-Time makes the current value chains become increasingly sensitive even to the event of any slightest disruption. The accumulation of such sensitivity tends to undermine the existence of a resilient system. The present economic models are directed towards the promotion of needed economic growth. The emergence of the COVID-19 Pandemic thus requires rethinking of business models associated with the parameters of production, trade, and consumption to meet sufficiency objectives rather than solely focusing on growth.
Business organizations are required to essentially focus on making the employees feel increasingly happier and involved in that the same contributes to create a productive workforce. Thus, it is not only required, for the management bodies, to foster a flexible work sphere in terms of allowing ‘work-from-home but also in empowering the staff to meet the departmental and institutional objectives in a collective manner.
Collaboration is the Key
Collaboration of personnel involved both along inter and intra-departmental levels and also between the organizational tiers is identified to be the key for building a resilient framework in meeting sustainability goals. Researchers have acknowledged that the responses undertaken to deal with the COVID-19 impacts are contributing to accelerating the development and also the birth of novel collaborative frameworks. Open Strategy is identified to be an effective collaboration model that encourages the business institutions to reach out to external stakeholder groups. It not only helps in modifying the existing innovation processes but also in potential decision-making activities aimed at future preparedness. Successful collaboration is envisaged not only based on the inclusion of factors triggering institutional changes but also by encouraging a productive work culture through engaging reward systems.
From Stakeholders to Shareholders
In the post-pandemic period, the business institutions need to focus on enhancing the lifestyle of the stakeholders by making them act as potential shareholders. The idea is coined as ‘stakeholder capitalism’ wherein the stakeholders are also accounted as shareholders of the firm. The firms, in this manner, would be accountable in not only caring for meeting the financial and lifestyle needs of its shareholders but also of its stakeholder communities.
Role of B-Schools in promoting Business Resiliency and Sustainability
In the post-pandemic world, the B-Schools have started recognizing the significant role played by business institutions in the larger society. Thus, they have started in training and developing business managers for generating decisions in a conscious manner and also in evaluating the implications of the decisions undertaken. The B-Schools have rightly understood that the traditional focus of profit earning, in a sole manner, will no longer contribute to generating benefits in the longer term.
Case of Globsyn Business School
Globsyn Business School (GBS) is one such B-School that renders focuses on understanding the role of integrated management in developing business resilience during the post-pandemic period. Over the last two decades, GBS has uniquely positioned itself as India’s only ‘Corporate B-School’.
Recently, Globsyn Business School organized an International Research Seminar on ‘Business Resilience in the post-COVID-19 World: Role of Integrated Management’, wherein an inclusive platform was built for engaging speakers from different sections of the society like academicians, students, entrepreneurs, and also corporate veterans to share their views and ideas based on the theme. The Seminar rendered its focus on understanding the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on diverse sections of the economy and the significance of developing strategic resilience and integrated management for needed business agility and sustainability in the long run.
The sudden happening of the COVID-19 pandemic has reflected that the idea of Building a Business Resilience framework cannot be ignored for making the business organizations operate in a sustainable manner. Different strategies and tactics are identified, herein, for helping the business institutions become resilient and responsive to changing circumstances and future challenges.