Building resilience – one “must keep” resolution for 2014?

By Jim Haywood

Over the past few weeks homes and businesses across the UK have been battered by some serious stormy weather.  Sadly, as well as causing damage to property, disruption to travel plans and interruption to business, the storms have claimed a number of lives – our hearts go out to all who have suffered loss. 

According to insurer Munich Re, the estimated bill for damage caused by storms and other natural catastrophes across the globe last year was in the order of £125 billion, with $31 billion paid out in claims.

Insuring against loss from emergencies is important – all businesses and organisations should have adequate insurance cover.  But I wonder Flooded smallholdinghow many of the businesses affected by the storms could have done something to reduce their impact by thinking and planning ahead?  Whilst we know that financial loss is insignificant when set against loss of life, the reality is that lives and livelihoods depend on the ability of businesses and other organisations to keep going when hit by an emergency or crisis.  Insurance can help reduce the impact after the event, but action beforehand to ensure your organization is resilient to potential crises can often make a bigger difference.

Such crises come in all forms – not all are weather related.  What would happen, for example, if our staff are affected by a ‘flu pandemic?  Or if all our computer systems go down, or a senior member of the team is suddenly unavailable?  Could we continue to operate if our premises were damaged by fire?

Perhaps one of the resolutions we absolutely should keep in 2014 (some of mine are already slipping!) is to put much more thought into the resilience of our organisations.  This includes individual resilience (take a look at Carole’s blog of 6 Nov where she discusses individual resilience and what we can learn about dealing with the shocks of life).  This is a subject we at Achill are passionate about and we are working on ways of helping organisations, particularly SMEs, not-for-profit and charities, become more resilient.

Please do get in touch if you would like to know more.


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