The importance of business continuity to Organizational Resilience

As part of this year’s Business Continuity Awareness Week, I am delighted by the release of the BCI’s Organizational Resilience Manifesto. It recognizes the importance and influence business continuity (BC) professionals can make to this new paradigm of business strategy.

Since the introduction of BS 65000, the world’s first guidance document on organizational resilience in 2014, BSI has been leading the way with helping organizations to understand this topic and how it goes beyond continuity. So it’s great to have a Manifesto from the globally recognized body for business continuity professionals that reinforces this message and commits to supporting BCI members to proactively drive the Organizational Resilience agenda through a collaborative business approach.

Why I believe commitment from business continuity professionals is essential to the success of Organizational Resilience

Often organizations strive for resilience, but in a protective manner, rather than opportunistic way. The power of Organizational Resilience is the recognition of alignment with business strategy and the introduction of new methodologies that enable organizations to take measured risks with confidence so they can thrive in an ever more complex environment.

With our Organizational Resilience Index, we identified 16 elements of Organization Resilience – business continuity being one of them alongside leadership, reputational risk and resource management to name a few. An organization needs a balance across all 16 elements that support their objectives and future strategic direction.

The manifesto from the BCI now provides practitioners a clear vision on how they can contribute and remain innovative within their field. With dedication, collaboration and focus the profession can add value by helping to shape the strategic direction and encourage their organization to not only have an appropriate state of preparedness should something go wrong, but also to spot opportunities to thrive.

The value of the BCI Organizational Resilience Manifesto

I particularly like how the BCI Organization Resilience Manifesto commits to some clear initiatives that can add value to Organizational Resilience:

  • BCI’s commitment to “investing in research on the aspects of organizational resilience that impact the delivery of business continuity the most” will provide real tangible insight to help practitioners plan, based on the organizational context. It will provide another level to existing research in this space such as the BSI Cranfield Research report published in 2017 that distils 50 years of Organizational Resilience research and provides a clear framework to help business leaders manage risk and adapt for future success.
  • The development of alliances is a great initiative to bring like-minded professionals together to discuss and share best practice. In a similar way to standards development, enabling experienced individuals to form a community and work together in an evolving area can lead to initiatives that can change the future of how organizations achieve success.
  • The development of tools for BC practitioners helps to make Organizational Resilience more tangible. We recognized this requirement in senior leaders, which led to the development of BSI’s Organizational Resilience Benchmark tool. Based on our organizational resilience index, incorporating perceptions from over 1250 business leaders against the 16 elements of Organizational Resilience, it allows your senior executives to benchmark current performance against the index results. So where business continuity shows as a focus, these new practitioner tools on the horizon will really complement your overall approach. 

In summary

I look forward to see how business continuity professionals engage with the initiatives outlined in this new manifesto. This is positive new approach that I hope other professional bodies reflect on. If we can get leaders for different functions across our organization to recognize the value their profession can deliver to Organizational Resilience, as well as work collaboratively to embed this within the culture, the more successful we will be in delivering this new management approach so we can flourish in today’s complex business environment.


Tony Reilly, Strategic Global Marketing Director