According to consultant and strategist Kelly Rae White, companies that focus on building resilient operations, teams, systems and leaders are more likely to take advantage of demand surges and power through the effects of a downturn.

Are you on track to exit the current market better than you entered it? Do you know what you need to do each day to grow your business and increase profitability?

If your answer to either of these questions is no, it may be an indicator that your organization is not as resilient as it could be. 

I have worked with different types of companies with varying degrees of resiliency, including:

  • Passive aggressive: These are organizations where everyone agrees something should be done but nothing changes.
  • Outdated: The good old days meet a brave new world. They are stuck in the old way of doing things.
  • Start and stop: This is a company that lacks consistent action or tries 100 things at once. 
  • Entrepreneurial deficit disorder: This is also known as the shiny penny syndrome. They don’t focus and change direction frequently.

All of these could result in destabilization and chaos in your organization

What is resiliency and why does it matter? 

Resiliency is the ability to adapt well in the face of threat, adversity or significant stress. Companies that are resilient will be able to weather market trends and unexpected shifts and continue to thrive. Those that are not resilient will decline, get stuck and become increasingly less profitable.

A resilient organization can withstand the test of time, and, more importantly, will continue to grow and increase profit. 

More importantly, a resilient business makes living the life you want possible. The point of owning a business is to have a great life. Knowing that your business is dialed in and operating at its peak provides peace of mind and reduces stress that can impact all facets of life. When you are resilient, you open the door for infinite possibilities in life and business.

Resilience is the best predictor for future change success.

What does a resilient team or organization look like? 

A resilient business is one with a coherent business strategy and is flexible enough to adapt quickly to market shifts.

A resilient organization is one that:

  • Adopts and adapts quickly and easily. 
  • Operates efficiently.
  • Attracts and retains top talent.
  • Vibrates with company culture.
  • Produces resources for continued investment in people, systems and tools.
  • Generates stable cash flow and is highly profitable.

How does a company become resilient?

As mentioned earlier, the definition of resiliency is the ability to withstand or recover quickly from tough times; therefore, a company becomes more resilient when they can withstand or recover from challenges. The key for a company to be more resilient is to identify what it can influence, such as attitude, action and responses to situations. Then focus energy on what it can control, and let go of things it can’t. 

A company can weather-proof itself by implementing the “big five”:

1. Using data to drive plans, goals and decisions

Using data to drive action is one of the best ways to leverage your business strategy. Data is a way for you to control what you can control. Without grounded data, you are making things up, and this is risky and can negatively impact decisions and results.

2. Building company culture through people

Change directly impacts those who work for you. In the absence of information, your people will make up their own stories about what is going on. As the leader, letting your people know when something tough is on the horizon is important. You don’t have to have all the answers; you just need to include them, help them understand what is going on and provide a supportive environment for everyone to weather the storm together.

3. Maximizing current and future market trends

As a leader, keeping on top of trends is important. Minimally, this includes national and local industry and economic trends. You can do this by tapping into your affiliated partners to leverage their local knowledge. Subscribe to industry trends reports, and attend national industry conferences to maximize national trends.

Understanding national and local economic trends requires a similar strategy. What organizations, publications, conferences or online channels can you follow to understand these trends and how they might impact your business? 

4. Creating and executing short-, mid- and long-term business plans

Most companies have short- and long-term business plans, but in times of immense change, different horizons of time should be considered. Short-term planning involves strategies that focus on the results within a shorter period of time, such as a year.

Mid-term planning entails strategies that focus on permanent solutions to short-term concerns. Long-term planning means creating plans with a longer horizon of time. 

5. Optimizing the organization (tools, technology, systems and people)

Optimization means making the best or most effective use of a situation or resource. Therefore, optimizing your organization means assessing tools, technology, systems and people to ensure they are the most efficient in the current situation.

Companies that focus on building resilient operations, teams, systems and leaders are more likely to take advantage of demand surges and power through the effects of a downturn. 

Kelly Rae White is an executive consultant and business strategist. Connect with her on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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