In this series, Facility Executive introduces you to one of the many business continuity professionals scheduled to speak at the 21st Annual Continuity Insights Management Conference, which will take place at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, April 24-26, 2023.
In these times, when the need for critical information-sharing has never been greater, Continuity Insights offers insight, inspiration, and actionable ideas presented by a faculty of leading business continuity experts and practitioners. This conference provides a timely and important opportunity to share best practices, lessons learned, and effective strategies employed to ensure organizational resilience.
Here, we chat with Lynnda M. Nelson, President, The International Consortium for Organizational Resilience (ICOR).
Facility Executive: Tell us about your background. How did you first get involved with business resiliency?
Lynnda Nelson: My “first career” was that of a high school teacher. I then transitioned to working as a consultant in business continuity and crisis management as well as an adjunct professor teaching business continuity for a master’s degree program. As a consultant, I worked as a member of a team designing an education program for another organization. Building on that success, several members of our consulting team decided that we were interested in creating our own education and certification organization.
In 2005, The International Consortium for Organizational Resilience (ICOR) was formed as a 501c3 with the purpose of bringing together the many silos, industries, and separate bodies of knowledge that individually support resilience into one professional entitled,
“Organizational Resilience.” As one of the founders, our vision was to move “beyond business continuity and managing risk” and to empower individuals with the knowledge necessary to increase the resilience of the organizations they work for and within the communities they reside.
ICOR’s focus is on education, credentialing, and leading in the building of more resilient organizations. We started with education and certification that focused on those individual systems or risk-based disciplines such as business continuity, crisis management, critical environments such as data centers, IT continuity, and supply chain resilience. More recently we launched our Organizational Resilience curriculum and certification for those designing and implementing the organizational resilience strategy. Leaders can earn their certification from ICOR as an Organizational Resilience Manager, Professional, or Executive.
ICOR is a global leader in organizational resilience. Our models and frameworks are used by organizations of all kinds, including both the public and private sectors, to provide guidance to leaders on how to implement and design more resilient organizations. I am particularly proud of my contributions building the models and developing the curriculum.
FE: In your own words, how would you define organizational resilience? Why is this important for facility management to prioritize?
LN: ICOR is a liaison organization to the International Standards Organization (ISO), specifically supporting the writing of standards in business continuity, crisis management, organizational resilience, and community resilience. I also serve as an expert representing the United States.
Due to ICOR’s affiliation with ISO, we have helped to define resilience – a definition that is accepted globally. ISO 22316: Organizational Resilience Principles and Attributes, defines resilience as the “ability of an individual, organization, or community, to absorb and adapt in a changing environment to enable it to deliver its objectives and to survive and prosper.” Note it is not just about managing risk, it is not just about surviving, but it is also about thriving and prospering. It is about successfully managing change and being agile and adaptive. The pandemic has helped organizations to understand that its ability to adapt to a changing environment is as or more important than managing risk. In fact, it can be said that not managing change is a risky activity!
“When considering all of the attributes
that contribute to building a more
resilient organization, facility management
‘owns’ many of those capabilities
including asset management,
life safety, physical security,
environmental stewardship, and the
design of the workplace itself.”
— Lynnda M. Nelson, President, ICOR
This definition is especially important to those in facility management as most organizations are “housed” in buildings of some kind. ICOR’s Organizational Resilience Capability Assessment (ORCA) identifies both facility management and workplace resilience as required capabilities. ICOR’s Organizational Resilience Competency Model includes both facility management and workplace resilience as required competencies for those leading the resilience policy and strategy. When considering all of the attributes that contribute to building a more resilient organization, facility management “owns” many of those capabilities including asset management, life safety, physical security, environmental stewardship, and the design of the workplace itself.
FE: What impact can organizational resilience have when it comes to hiring and professional development?
LN: ICOR’s education and credential programs can provide direction to talent management in the hiring of those intended to lead in the development and implementation of a resilience strategy. Organizations should consider carefully certifications held by applicants to ensure that they have clarity in how their role supports building resilience. Talent management personnel should also have an understanding of the importance of the “soft skills” required for those responsible for managing risk and increasing resilience. They should also consider how to encourage those experts to be part of the leadership team for designing and implementing the resilience policy and strategy.
Experts in the different systems that manage risk should explore how to leverage the knowledge and experience they have acquired within one or more systems to take the next step and consider how to lead the overall resilience strategy. It is time to eliminate the siloed way of managing risk and to begin working as cross-functional teams focused on resilience.
LYNNDA’S BREAKOUT SESSION
Where Organizational Resilience Begins
Professional Development Track
Tuesday, April 25, 2023, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
The presenter will identify the behaviors it requires to be more resilient and how to applying this to hiring and professional development practices. Takeaways included in this workshop:
- An understanding of the globally recognized definition of organizational resilience – what are we talking about?
- Examples of attributes and capabilities of more resilient organizations.
- Understanding of the relationship between an organization’s culture, its behavior, and the resilience of its people.
- How to identify behaviors, what types of behaviors the organization is seeking, and how to apply this knowledge in hiring and professional development practices.
FE: What would you like your audience to takeaway from your presentation?
LN: The focus of my presentation at Continuity Insights is on “individual resilience”. This is a topic that has not been addressed as a critical element of building more resilient organizations very often. Organizations are made up of people and so an organization’s resilience is dependent upon its people. I hope that attendees will walk away with a better understanding of organizational behavior and how it drives culture. Specifically understanding that the behaviors of adaptability, resourcefulness, creativity, innovation, collaboration, inclusion, preparedness, awareness, reflection, diversity, and integration enables all resilience initiatives.