Resilience has many definitions. For organisations on the Gulf Coast and Eastern seaboard, it might mean withstanding hurricanes. For others, it’s avoiding ransomware attacks. It might mean having a succession plan for critical employees. Sometimes it’s all of the above.

But no matter what resilience looks like for your organization, you need to know how to get there. What are the attributes of a resilient business? What should you prioritize?

We asked 500 C-suite respondents in U.S. companies with 500+ employees what elements they thought were most essential to resilience. Here’s what they said.

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Taking a proactive stance on emerging threats

The top answer was the ability to identify emerging threats and understand their impact, getting a nod from 33% of respondents.

This speaks to proactively staying up to date not only on cyber threats but also the impact of changing weather patterns that might create more powerful and damaging storms. It’s also about prioritising those threats — some might not have a significant impact on your business, while others might be devastating. The ability to not only keep up with threats and risks, but to efficiently handle them can keep your business running despite disasters that might sideline your competitors.

Which is why it’s not surprising that 31% said preparedness is essential to resilience, the second most popular answer. Again, it’s about being proactive. Identifying and understanding threats is one thing, but the will to prepare for them is what will separate your business from those that falter and sometimes fail.

Communication and collaboration are key

Some 30% of respondents pointed to clear direction from leadership as an essential attribute for resilience. It’s interesting that less than a third of respondents — all of them leaders — said clear direction was essential. Being the third most popular answer, however, shows its importance nonetheless.

A culture of resilience and the kind of proactive preparations your organisation should have in place all stem from leadership. Without buy-in from the C-suite, resilience rarely happens. Which is perhaps why “strong and supportive communication with key stakeholders” was cited as an essential attribute for resilience by 29% of respondents.

The better the communication between leaders and the IT and disaster recovery (DR) teams, especially in the face of a disaster, the more successful your company will be in mitigating or recovering from those issues.

The next two elements of resilience underscore the need for communication, collaboration, and clarity. Some 28% of respondents pointed to “collaboration among staff” and “clear organizational objectives” as essential.

The formula for resilience

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to resilience, but there are elements that many resilient businesses have in common. From the mouths of the C-suite themselves, those elements include:

  • Proactive identification of and preparation for threats
  • Clear direction and objectives from leadership
  • Communication and collaboration

What is your business doing to work those elements into your business continuity and DR programs?

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