I have frequently talked about resilience as being one of the benefits of a great strategy and sound risk management. For example, here is a paper I wrote about selling resilience. When I mention resilience to a large organisation I start with this question:

“What makes a small business resilient?”

And the answer is “its agility”. The ability to move faster than the giant sloths with stellar balance sheets.

These days in the new world of industry disrupters, I have no problem giving my audience a relevant example. Then I set them the challenge. Attaining resilience is just a platform from which to launch a sustainable organisation. Your target must be agility.

Take the health sector for example. Whether a public hospital, an aged care provider or pharmaceutical company, agility is essential.

A public hospital must do more with less as new and often expensive technologies become available and public demand for them is created.

Aged and agility don’t often go hand-in-hand, however, the industry is growing fast with all kinds of stakeholder expectations and opportunities.

While pharma companies must continue their quest for   a portfolio of products providing sustainable cash flow, new growth and the occasional star, they must be agile by pursuing new opportunities quickly and failing them just as fast.

The key to agility is having your support functions and your delivery functions working in unison. However, all the evidence is to the contrary (see Knowledge@Wharton stats to the right). Start by paring back complexity in your business.

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