Change is constant in any organisations including Governments ; legislation develops and changes, social attitudes mature or are developed in line with cultural emergence and increased social diversity and as education levels increase expectations become more questioning and demanding. Organizations must evolve with change. That evolvement is managed by the organisations control structure – the management team. However, sudden unexpected change is not always ‘on the horizon’. Yet it must be anticipated, planed for, and costed for and this includes allocating appropriate resources.
Organizational Resilience is the ability of an organization to anticipate, prepare for, respond, and adapt to incremental change and sudden disruptions so that it will survive and prosper.
‘You cannot be who you want to be unless you know what it you stand for’. Any organisation that is prepared to adapt to change and provide resilience for unexpected and unforeseen events must have a set of values to ensure that the organisation is a dynamic fortitude of interconnectedness that has resilience as part of its system and not a component to be brought in as needed.
Those organisations that put resilience into a bunker that is never to see the light of day until the unexpected occurs are the organisations most likely to display a dysfunctionality when the unforeseen occurs. If I ring 000, I expect an answer. If I do not get an answer than either the fault is deliberate, or it is not foreseen. Any organisation or Governments that waits for the unforeseen to occur and then unwraps the Disaster Manual is an extrapolation of incident damage waiting to happen. The process of accepting the unforeseen as part of the day to day to should be embedded in the organisation rather than drag it out when it is needed with all the problems to suddenly connecting a separate system to the daily managed system.
A staff member burns her toast in the microwave and then the smoke alarm goes off. Far better to ensure that the system of resilience trains Manual’ on a regular basis which includes using the microwave – i.e. a regular training of all the on-site unforeseen that can occur. This way the unforeseen become the foreseen.
Covid is the best example of a complete absence of resilience. Pandemics are not new; they are not unforeseen and the HIN group of viruses was known to be able to transmit from animal to human. Yet the ‘resilience’ to a pandemic did not sit within the system it sat outside – in neglected stores of PPE. In manuals of Disaster control gathering dust on shelves. It lay beside terrorist exercises as a sort of afterthought – the 2012 UK Olympics Risk Assessment stated a pandemic was unlikely. Even now the Australian Government is falling back into the same old habits – Australians will be allowed to travel interstate without being tested. The resilience (testing) sits there to be used when? Too late.
For any Organisation and Government to accept that it must be dynamic if it is to exhibit a resilience to unforeseen events rather than be a process formal structure which has very ‘stiff’ boundaries of authority and ‘soul-destroying’ bubbles of responses that do not provide for any continuous development both of the organisation and the staff/people there must be a road for that travels upwards and onwards for people involvement. If not the resilience will be limited to the ‘dusty Disaster Manual’ which when opened asks more questions, then provides answers. Today more than ever organisation must be involved with their staff if they are to be resilient.
However, so too ‘We the People’. It is disheartening to have to state the obvious but we can no longer trust our Governments or the Media to be honest. To reflect what it is that we the people aspire to and hope for, to tell the truth, to care for those who cannot care for themselves, to lead and not to follow. Covid should be the redline of the People. We were and have been failed. Let that be a warning of what is to come – Climate Change.