With half of the year behind us, the rampage of the COVID-19 pandemic that began with a small start in January is showing no signs of slowing down. Even as India seeks to open, the fabled ‘new normal’ seems a distance away as businesses are struggling to regain rhythm. There seem to be no signs of the so called ‘first wave’ ebbing and in the slugfest of humans versus virus, the latter is still winning.
In India, the services and manufacturing sector that form the backbone of the economy are compelled to re-imagine the future and embrace a change in their core thinking and approach. The needle is shifting from achieving efficiency (the ultimate measure of success) to a renewed virtue – building resilience. For long, efficiency stood for optimising costs, linear supply chain, just-in-time inventory and zero bench. A resilient strategy contrasts to the gospel of efficiency with an ability to deliver in the most trying situations, although not necessarily with the highest cost-efficiency.
The word, resilience is defined as the capacity to adapt to stressful situations and to bounce back from adversities.
What does a resilient strategy deliver? In the current environment, the process of disruption is nearly universal and overwhelming. It is evident that resilient organisations are not accidental but have cultural and behavioural attributes and to build on to provide flexibility to employees and remain focused on customers and consistently, ward off challenges. A resilient approach would deliver to all stakeholders i.e. keep the production going and ensure safety of workers, although both of these expectations may seem at cross purposes. Unsurprisingly, this could possibly be the story of every company that attempts to return to any sort of normalcy.
Resilience is an essential attribute as we live through this crisis and into the future. While companies would struggle in an era where business keeps moving faster, even for individuals, it is no small wonder that resilience has become the new must-have skill. While we have always known about the personal benefits of being resilient, recognition is due, that it also is needed for the sake of our organisational and employee well-being. Relationships built on shared values beyond simple monetary outcomes are more resilient than the ones built around efficiency alone.
Experts define organisational resilience as the ability to not just survive a hardship, but equally, to emerge from it stronger and better prepared to face new challenges in the future. All businesses experience adversity, but relatively few are able to transform these experiences into a catalyst for growth. In current times organisations and individuals would benefit from a resilient approach as we fight back the pandemic and the concomitant economic meltdown.
In the past few decades, countries such as Vietnam and Taiwan and its people have shown great resilience to resurrect their economies and prosper, and decidedly, their response to the pandemic has been exemplary. Our hope too is underpinned not just on our resilience to cope with the pandemic, but also bring economic success to our country, bring jobs and livelihoods to millions with an approach that is rooted in this devastating crisis.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.