Bus Con v Resilience

There’s a debate about Business Continuity verses resilience.  Are you in on it?  Your opinion counts.

A number of organisations seem to have begun calling their Business Continuity departments “Resilience Departments” and, perhaps observing the trend, this caused discussion among those creating an International Standard (ISO).

In November 2011 the Continuity Forum, reported on a meeting of the ISO member countries to discuss the imminent conversion of BS25999, the British Standard for Business Continuity that’s already used worldwide, into ISO 22301.  They tell us the meeting was briefly sidetracked by concerns that the development of an Organisational Resilience standard might negatively impact both ISO22301, BS25999 and the newly planned standard for resilience.  In the end, they reportedly decided to continue and ISO22301 will go ahead and is due for publication in the second quarter of 2012.

Here at Continuity in Business, we’re glad to hear this, because we firmly believe that business continuity and organisational resilience are two very different things…

So what do we believe?

  • Business Continuity and Organisational Resilience aren’t the same thing
  • Business Continuity is a very important part of an organisation’s resilience capability
  • When Business Continuity and Crisis Management  planners work closely with those who manage risk, physical and information security, and facilities management, the sum of their work is likely to be exponentially more useful to the resilience capability than when they work in isolation
  • The sum of continuity, crisis, risk, physical and information security and facilities management produces a very important, but comparatively small slice of the overall resilience capability of an organisation
  • The resilience capability of an organisation is also dictated by their ability to develop and maintain strong values, well-understood networks (technical and social), knowledge management,  strategic and operational risk management, disciplined innovation and a culture that values resilience
If you want more information on organisational resilience, you might want to look at the work of Resilient Organisations, the Centre for Positive Organisational Scholarship or follow the journey of an MSc thesis on the subject at Gold or Dust .

Have you got an opinion?  Do join in the discussion by commenting below.  (If you’re reading this on your email feed, click to go to the site to comment.)

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