Reputation tops list of business priorities in BSI’s Organisational Resilience benchmarking study

Protecting reputation tops business leaders’ list of priorities ahead of financial achievements and business leadership. That’s according to the world’s first benchmarking study of Organisational Resilience published by the British Standards Institution (BSI). The study finds that reputation is seen as the most important element in relation to the long-term success of a business, even more so than financial aspects, leadership and vision and purpose. Despite this, 43% of those interviewed as part of the global study believe their organisation is strongly susceptible to reputational risk. 

No fewer than 1,250 senior leaders of organisations across the globe participated in the study, which covers ten sectors across three regions: the UK and Ireland, the USA and the Asia Pacific region.

The magnitude of reputational risk was found to vary by geography. Globally, 62% rate their organisation’s current reputation as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very good’, but this figure rises to 75% in the US and falls to 55% and 56% in the UK and Ireland and Asia Pacific respectively.

Out of the 16 elements that make up Organisational Resilience, the study found that the most and least important are:

Most important
Reputational Risk
Financial Aspects
Leadership
Vision and Purpose
Information and Knowledge Management

Least important
Horizon Scanning
Alignment
Community Engagement
Culture
Adaptive Capacity

The study also investigated how these elements ranked in terms of perceived performance. It found the following:

Highest performing
Financial Aspects
Alignment
Leadership
Vision and Purpose
Governance and Accountability

Worst performing
Supply Chain
Innovation
Horizon Scanning
Information and Knowledge Management
Awareness, Training and Testing

Howard Kerr, CEO at the BSI, commented: “In today’s volatile and uncertain world, understanding what it takes to survive and thrive is tougher than ever. It’s encouraging that business leaders understand success is measured by more than just market share, with trust and reputation clearly seen as being critical to long-term success. However, our culture of instant communication means that reputations can be destroyed in a matter of minutes. This makes it particularly concerning that only 62% of respondents rated themselves as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very good’ when it came to proactively building their reputation.”

Howard Kerr: CEO at the BSI

Howard Kerr: CEO at the BSI

‘Supply Chain’ was perceived as the least resilient of the elements. The research found this to be largely as a result of senior business leaders feeling less in control of supply chain processes as they reside outside of their organisation. This places an onus on leaders to focus on maintaining the proper procedures to ensure their supply chains are as visible as possible, while using governance frameworks to maintain the highest ethics within their supply chain.

‘Horizon Scanning’ was identified as the least important aspect of resilience, with one third of respondents believing their organisations are ‘Average’ to ‘Poor’ at horizon scanning. This is the case for businesses of all ages, where a lack of processes and systems mean that organisations are unable to learn from past events, understand potential threats and make the changes they need to action.

Kerr concluded: “The challenges identified by our report cannot be addressed with quick and easy fixes. Organisational Resilience has no finishing line. Instead, weaknesses should be tackled through a process of continual improvement. Past prosperity is no guarantee of future success. It’s only by embedding this kind of culture that organisations will be able to master resilience. We very much hope that the BSI’s Organisational Resilience Index provides the inspiration for more firms to embark on this process and reassess whether they measure up to industry Best Practice across their operations.”

About the Author

Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications)

Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting.

In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector.

In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute’s George van Schalkwyk Award.

An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award.

Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site.

Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media.

Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014.

Related Posts