July 23, 2020
by Maren Borggräfe
The lockdown, and the phase we are now in, have been and remain a genuine challenge to people and organizations alike. In many areas, the coronavirus crisis has been like a magnifying glass, revealing the aspects that are urgently in need of improvement or making up for lost time. If we interpret this finding positively, for all its adversities, the crisis offers us an opportunity to develop our resilience further, so we can deal even more effectively with unforeseen upheavals in the future. This is true of both individual and organizational resilience.
The COVID-19 crisis, with its constraints on contact, is a surprising and trailblazing driver of digitalization. It is also simple, as it has suddenly become necessary to make greater use of virtual encounters and business models. And lo and behold: It actually works, because everyone has joined forces in a search for solutions and in a shared willingness to throw dead-end processes overboard without much hesitation, or to tailor these for virtual work.
This creates a much deeper awareness that virtual collaboration, in an uncertain environment with constantly changing conditions, also calls for a different form of interaction and communication. Suddenly, the focus is also on the availability of knowledge and structural resources. All these points offer opportunities for developing organizational resilience, which forms the basis for weathering a crisis like the current one reasonably intact.
Research identifies a variety of factors for organizational resilience. Individual topics are also laid out in the ISO standard* on organizational resilience that was published in 2017. From our point of view, these are the ten most important pillars of resilient organizations: