Balancing Your Business’ Innovation With A Resilience Mindset

Article Originally Published on Forbes in June 2022

If you ask any business leader whether innovation is a good thing, they’ll most likely say yes. However, the key to introducing value via innovation is keeping your business’ resiliency in mind and avoiding unacceptable risks. Being resilient means focusing on avoiding disruptions to your productivity when possible, establishing fast-acting recovery strategies and effectively responding to any crisis situation. What does balancing product, service or even business innovation with resilience mean to you? An answer may not come to mind initially, especially if rapid innovation is a core element of your business strategy.

The No. 1 objective of an organization’s leadership team is to deliver products or services that appropriately align with the needs of their customers. Leaders recognize that what’s needed now for optimal product or service delivery may change in the future—hence the need for innovation. However, a focus on innovation without consideration for resilience can introduce issues such as supplier single points of failure, non-sustainable practices or communication lapses. The pandemic and geopolitical tensions have taught countless organizations this painful lesson.

Here’s a simple case study example. Company X identified a way to save 14% on production costs and increase the lifespan of its product by 21% by introducing a new raw material replacement. However, there are only two sources of this raw material, and both are sourced in countries facing international sanctions. What should leadership do, and what would the customer think? Perhaps proceeding with the innovation makes sense, or perhaps the risk is too high. Being intentional from a resilience management perspective is essential to making the best decision.

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Brian Zawada

Chief Strategy Officer

Brian brings more than 25 years of experience managing and building world-class, global business continuity programs to his role as Chief Strategy Officer for Castellan. Outside of his work with Castellan and its clients, Brian previously served as the Head of the United States Delegation to ISO Technical Committee 223, the authors of ISO 22301. Brian contributed to ISO 22301 and led the project team that created ISO 22317, the business impact analysis standard, and ISO 22331, the business continuity strategy determination standard. Brian is a frequent author and speaker, currently serving on the Editorial Advisory Board of Continuity Insights magazine. Brian previously served as the Business Continuity Institute US Chapter Board President and as the President of the Northern Ohio Chapter of the Association of Contingency Planners. Brian is certified as a Fellow of the Business Continuity Institute. In 2020, he published his first book The Business Continuity Operating System. Brian is also a two time Lifetime Achievement award winner from CIR (2021) and the BCI.

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