Resilience and innovation: the business benefits of prioritizing your people

BSI’s new Prioritizing People Model© provides a best practice framework for organizations to plot their resilience journey from workplace welfare to innovation. The model’s creator Kate Field (CMIOSH), BSI’s Global Head, Health, Safety and Well-being, maps the milestones.

BSI’s Prioritizing People Model© is focussed on creating trust to unlock an individual’s full potential, providing the right elements for fulfilment (well-being).

Just one of the many benefits of worker well-being for an organization is enhanced resilience, but what exactly is organizational resilience? It is defined as the “ability of an organization to anticipate, prepare for, respond and adapt to incremental change and sudden disruptions in order to survive and prosper.” - BS 65000 guidance on organizational resilience.

To help organizations better understand organizational resilience, BSI developed a best practice framework that guides organizations through the key elements required to enable improved resilience. There are four categories to the model: leadership, people, process, and product. All categories need to be effectively addressed and, while the leadership category drives organizational resilience, the people category is vital to achieve the organization’s goals as this is where the culture of trust is created.

The link between resilience and people is very clearly seen in the results of BSI’s Organizational Resilience Index Report 2021. The organizations where leaders prioritized their people were seen to be the most resilient. The key is for organizations to harness this resilience for the long-term. Mastering organizational resilience means adopting best practice to deliver ongoing business improvement by building competence and capability across all parts of an organization.

BSI’s Prioritizing People Model© is a best practice approach to unlocking and fulfilling an individual’s potential by creating a culture of trust. With this culture of trust, organizations will not only survive but will thrive and accelerate to remain resilient.

The model identifies the right conditions for individual fulfilment (well-being) and organizational resilience. Adapting the ‘needs’ framework from Maslow’s hierarchy, it sets out the 16 elements required to demonstrate a human-centred approach. It also describes the organizational benefits, from compliance, to productivity and culminates in resilience. Organizations that adopt the model will be agile and innovative and won’t simply survive, but will thrive.

Organizations are steered by the model through a pathway that unlocks individual potential to deliver a resilient organisation. Although visually represented as a linear model, organizations can start at any point or address multiple aspects at one time. Critically, basic needs must be addressed for progress at higher stages to be sustained.

The ultimate goal – innovation – sits at the very top of the model and is achieved via actualization, where individuals have the ability to continue to grow, be creative, and adapt.

Engaging in innovation activities is a way for an organization to be future-focused and effectively deliver on its overall objectives of securing prosperity, sustainability and longer-term relevance and survival. For us, innovation is a critical element of organizational resilience.

It is our intent that the model achieves significant cultural change and is not seen as a set of initiatives to simply tick corporate social responsibility boxes. The framework should be embedded into the values of the organization and prompt a restructuring of corporate DNA.

Find out more by downloading the prioritizing people whitepaper.