A Critical Element of an Organisations’ Resilience: People
Resilience and preparedness requires capability, capacity, competence and reliability. A core element of capability, defined as the ‘demonstrable ability of an organisation, collective or system to do something, under specific conditions, to defined levels’, is an organisations’ workforce. This includes individuals, teams and the wider network of teams. The preparation and conditioning of teams through effective training, including exposure to a variety of incident and crises scenarios, is crucial to ensuring that o
rganisations are prepared and resilient.
Training to improve the level of resilience within organisations begins with the review or creation of a resilience strategy, to provide strategic concepts and direction, policies to determine the parameters within which individuals and teams should operate, doctrine to identify and outline the way in which organisations, teams and individuals should and train and prepare, and the communication of standards to which individuals should work. Following the creation of these documents, a training needs analysis can be performed to identify areas within which individuals and teams require development. The results of such an analysis is used to design appropriate training interventions.
Training programs to improve organisational resilience should initially include elements of theoretical input, in order to improve the knowledge and skills of individuals and teams. This training is developed further during practical exercises and scenarios. Alongside the development of individual learning, exercises performed as a team are crucial for a reliable and effective response to incidents and crises. The lessons learned during controlled and managed exercises should translate directly into both operational performance and future training interventions. Furthermore, scheduled pressure testing of strategies, policies, doctrine and standards is required, if relevant and appropriate changes are to take place. This learning and reflective process encourages improvements to risk management processes, security systems, emergency responses, business continuity management, and arguably the most crucial element of an organisations’ resilience levels, the abilities of its workforce.