Manage Risk, yes…but we really need to Build Resilience

Resilience and risk management are not synonymous; the responses being seen to COVID-19 make that quite clear.  In the wake of previous crises, risk management became a buzzword of ‘good’ governance.  Great care was taken to identify what was likely to happen, to stress test it and build plans for what we were going to experience.  Investors, non-Execs and Boards drew comfort from putting things ‘on the radar.’

That all made very good sense but the problem is that when crisis occurs it is not linear – it doesn’t obey the confines of a risk register and rarely matches the characteristics of the action plan.

The upshot is that investment in capacity to manage risk does not always translate into the capability to act resiliently when it really matters.

Resilience is what is tested when organisations are faced with something unexpected.  Increasingly it is resilience rather than risk that investors, shareholders, and oversight committees are interested in.  Resilience lives outside of risk registers in the people, culture, and leadership of an organisation.  Resilience does not happen by chance – it takes investment, development and refinement.

Operation CRUCIBLE is a tried and tested one-day program to test and enhance the resilience of senior teams.  Developed with methodology used by British military leaders and contingency planners for handling crises, Op CRUCIBLE tests thinking under pressure, temperament and teamwork.  It goes beyond ‘admiring the problem’ to making tough decisions and planning to deliver clear outcomes.

Not only do resilient teams perform better under stress, they are also more effective in dealing with everyday challenges.  Team cohesion, commitment, accountability and trust are all enhanced, which go a long way to improving overall performance.

Op CRUCIBLE: Amicus Enhances Resilience of Global Bank

“A really effective  way of putting a team under pressure in a safe environment and making it more resilient”

Building a new-look bank in the wake of 2008 has taken time.  Our client recognised that other crises were unforeseeable – so preparing the leaders across the firm to cope with the unexpected was critical.

Amicus developed an immersive scenario, based on a real life crisis that presented an imminent and enduring threat to business continuity, assets, and reputation.  This took the leadership team outside its normal operating environment.  Why?  Because that is exactly what a crisis will do.

CRUCIBLE was run over one day; supported by experienced military and government operators as mentors, a crisis management centre was established in a London Hotel.  With additional input from role players – all of whom had real-life experience of working in the actual crisis – our executive teams examined the challenge, contextualised the issue and developed decision making, leadership and communication tools to address the crisis and lead beyond it.

“CRUCIBLE put our team under real pressure – it was uncomfortable. It made us work together against the clock to analyse a problem, find solutions and implement them in a fast changing situation. It exposed me to a much broader perspective of crisis response, reaching beyond the confines of my expertise; considering the broader context; relating actions to impact and the importance of making and then managing decisions where clarity is illusive”.

Category: Case Studies

Watch our recent webinar replay - "The Importance of Team Diversity for Innovation in a Crisis"