When the pandemic hit in early 2020, many organisations both in the public and private sector were taken by surprise, despite years of warning signs. Some companies were able to ride the storm because of their preparedness, so how did they thrive where others failed?

We have published the first chapter, titled Preparation, of our digital series on Operational Resilience Learnings from the Pandemic, to capture corporate memory and best practice on how well-prepared businesses were for the shock that occurred. It gives a particular focus on the security industry, through the lens of one of Resilience First’s Members, CIS Security.

This guide is a practical resource offering the foresight necessary for better preparations, so that businesses will be ready for future shocks and stresses that could disrupt or impact operations.

The Covid-19 pandemic has unsettled business, the economy, and the health and wellbeing of employees. Companies, emergency services and other public sector organisations should have had the foresight to plan ahead for all eventualities, however, preparations for crisis which are not thought of as immediate are often neglected until it is too late. This guide may help to reduce the long-lasting impact of a future crisis, by enabling organisations to enhance their operational resilience through valuable learnings and insights from the real-time management of a business at the front line of service delivery during Covid-19.

The first chapter on Preparation comprises four sections: Vision & Values, Leadership & Governance, Planning & Foresight, and Strategy & Information. The chapter highlights some of the things that CIS Security did well:

  • Culture - the leadership were prepared and well-practised to enable good foresight to make the correct decisions.
  • Structure - having an empowered and agile team in place to analyse and manage the emerging risks to the business.
  • Communication - having an appointed Information Coordinator who provided clarity to the workforce by deciding which source of advice to follow, therefore easing decision making as well as maintaining regular communications with the entire team including those struck with Covid.

Martyn Link, Resilience First’s Executive Director, said: “Resilience First is delighted to publish this report on Operational Resilience and has worked closely with CIS Security, one of our members, on this. There is so much the business community can learn from the pandemic. CIS’ experience shows the real value of preparation. We can never be sure what the next big shock for business may be, but some of the tips that CIS can provide on how they approached the pandemic, and the disruption that it caused, are extremely useful to all businesses, no matter which sector.”

Operational Resilience Guide on Learnings from the Pandemic - Chapter 1: Preparation is being launched on 27 September 2022 at the International Security Expo at London Olympia over a plenary session with CIS Security, and available online here.

The second chapter on People will be launched in October with the remaining chapters on Place, Process and Performance to be released in the coming months.