19 Oct, 2020
Business resilience starts with the awareness of potential risk. It is built around strong organisational cultures, the promotion of emergent leadership, and investment in safe and secure workspaces and operations. With a job lost every 20 seconds since lockdown in March though, it became evident to us all that one of the main risks to business sustainability and continuity lies in the potential loss of talent, and the major disruption to operational continuity and internal resourcing capacity this brings.
The new reality pushed us all to make a choice – whether to adapt and change how we do business and run our teams; or to witness our own demise while drowning in denial and despair. But these testing times also offered businesses a crash course in adapting to digital operation, remote working, virtual B2B deal negotiations and business repurposing. One only needs to flip the history pages back to 2008/09 to see how such challenging events produce incredible technologies and business management solutions.
Firms are prioritising their business continuity efforts more than ever before. I don’t mean by that the box-ticking exercise of issuing a semi-template BC document that gets filed away without continuous updating and the full awareness of its use in practice. In a lot of ways, this pandemic has been a real wakeup call for many businesses that did just that.
Acquiring ISO 22301 certification for example serves as a great statement that improves stakeholders’ confidence in a firm’s ability to navigate uncertainty and difficulties. It drives management to go through that mental exercise of continuously addressing all potential areas of risk and building back-up and redundancy solutions. One crucial part in that regard involves how a business manages its access to a flexible and reliable workforce, made available without affecting business profitability or the quality of its products and services.
Several businesses are approaching such a challenge by building a network of freelancers and contractors they trust and refer to as and when needed. Others opt for outsourcing this by using recruitment and resourcing agencies.
The perhaps more brave, long-term conscious ones are taking this a step further, tapping into more innovative and cost-effective approaches by benefiting from B2B resource-sharing solutions. These not only offer access to reliable and flexible resourcing without paying premium contractor rates (or contributing to the ugly side of the gig economy impacting workers), but they also serve as a brilliant tool for finding work to any under-utilised capacity a business has in challenging times yet prefers to avoid redundancies. Key to this is B2B collaboration.
Irrespective of how a business decides to manage economic uncertainty – whether that’s triggered by worldwide pandemics or international trade constraints (#BrexitIsComing) – the key remains in business resilience. This is defined by the stance the firm takes in the short- and long-term planning and safeguarding. Creativity and innovation – not only in the end-product or service a company is offering – but in the very essence of its core operation as well, has now become a fundamental requirement of business survival and continuity.
Hassan Khadra-Brooks is the Managing Director of TheHIVE Enterprise
He is an engineer with experience in bionics, nuclear decommissioning robotics, facilities management, business management and data-driven service delivery and operation.
TheHIVE is a staff and resource-sharing platform. It links companies with under-utilised capacity to non-competing business partners stretched for resources and looking to hire on flexible terms.
TheHIVE offers companies a free tool to managing business risk and uncertainty from the resource management perspective; as well as the access to reliable, affordable and flexible workforce. Its mission is to help businesses build long-term sustainable operation models and improve on the job security of their loyal and talented employees.