Benchmark Resilience: A study of the resilience of organisations in the Auckland Region
The project, initiated in August 2007, aims to develop a tool for benchmarking the resilience of organisations. As part of the project the benchmarking tool has been tested on organisations in the Auckland region. Why measure organisational resilience? In crisis and disaster situations, organisations enable communities to respond and recover. Organisations that provide services such as electricity, telecommunications, transport, water and healthcare are commonly seen as critical. However all organisations contribute to the delivery of services and the provision of employment. The ability of these organisations to operate can determine the success of the community response and recovery. Organisations, both big and small, are susceptible to natural disasters, power cuts, loss of key staff and public health issues like pandemic influenza. And it’s not just the big problems that can cause trouble for organisations; many experience small disruptions on a daily basis. A resilient organisation is one that not only survives, but is also able to thrive in an environment of change and uncertainty (Seville, et al., 2008, p. 2). Initial results from this research indicate a positive relationship between organisational resilience and cash flow, profitability and return on investment. This provides evidence of a clear link between an organisation’s resilience and their business performance. Despite the business benefits of becoming more resilient, many organisations struggle to prioritise resilience and to link resilience to crisis or disaster, with the ability to operate effectively and efficiently during business as usual. Measuring and benchmarking organisational resilience is about two things, firstly asking ‘as an organisation how resilient are we and what do we need to work on?’, and secondly remembering that what gets measured gets done!