All five elements must be in place according to long-awaited Roads to Resilience report

Five key points of resilience are essential to keep companies out of trouble according to an Airmic report produced with Cranfield School of Management

Risk radar; resources and assets; relationships and networks; rapid response; and review and adapt are essential elements for businesses to have in place, as identified in the finalised version of the long-awaited Roads to Resilience.

The study is the follow up to the widely acclaimed Roads to Ruin, published by Airmic in 2011, only this time looking in the opposite direction.

Speaking to StrategicRISK, Airmic chief executive John Hurrell (pictured) said: “What we set out to do with Roads to Resilience was to determine ‘what does good look like?’ as opposed to Roads to Ruin which was effectively ‘what does bad look like?’ We were hoping that there would be some consistency in the way that very different companies in very different sectors with very different scale, in the way that they approached resilience. In a sense, while we were not really expecting it we were also hoping that it was there.”

Five key elements emerged after a study of the following organisations: AIG; Drax Group; InterContinental Hotels Group; Jaguar Land Rover; Olympic Delivery Authority; The Technology Partnership; Virgin Atlantic and Zurich Insurance.

“When Cranfield did their research, which was around 70 or 80 interviews across the eight companies, they identified five characteristics that they call key principles and are present in every case,” said Hurrell.

“Their view was that resilience would have to have all of these five component elements. So within the organisations they probably had not individually identified those five key components as separate and discrete because that was simply the way they did business. But when you looked at it they were doing the same five things in each of those organisations.

“The great thing for Airmic is that we now have five key points of resilience which we have articulated and described and mapped into the process which we can then start sharing with our members but also through other bodies such as the Institute of Directors.

“In the report we have drawn together the implications and the messages for risk managers in one separate section and then in the following section, the implications for boards. And the conclusion that we have come to is that it is almost impossible for this to happen unless you have a) the board setting the tone, and then b) the right risk professionals in the organisation to execute on this.”

Roads to Resilience is the culmination of 18 months of research and was scheduled to be published last summer.

Instead Airmic decided further work was required to ensure the study stood up to the most intense scrutiny, according to Hurrell.

“It has taken seven or eight months longer than we had expected,” Hurrell said.

“The original intention was to launch the report at the Airmic Conference in Brighton last summer but, for a number of reasons, we weren’t quite ready to do that because there was still stuff coming out and we wanted to test it more.

“We still had a lot of questions when we launched the Executive Briefing at the conference and it has taken all this time since to really work through.

“Effectively we were challenging Cranfield, we were challenging ourselves to add more substance. When you look in detail, one or two passages are subtly different – not too much but subtly so because there has been some tweaking around the edges, but the main message [the five key points of resilience] that we had in June we put out with confidence and we stand by it.”