2021- The Year Of Golden Opportunity To Build Organizational Resilience

by Tal Sar-El

In the passing year, when the world experienced the COVID-19, many organizations underwent substantial changes, stemming from extreme situations and new opportunities: from financial growth, such as delivery companies to crash and loss of hope, for example, the restaurant business.

This reality has led to the forefront of some work procedures and work methods that were the privilege of the minority: remote work and work from home. The term home-office has gotten new meanings, and along with it, there was the creation of new opportunities.

During 2020 we witnessed the creation and rise of remote work solutions. If until now the prevalent belief in many organizations was that to have an in-depth discussion which yields results, it is necessary to have a broad gathering in one room, 2020 showed that zoom meetings, or any other similar platform, are perfectly doable and it is possible to achieve the same results. As far as many organizations are concerned, having meetings via V.C. has led to a more focused operational mode and a significant reduction in “garbage” time, such as commuting time to meetings.

I believe the year 2021 will be a transitional year, in which we will move from a world under COVID-19 to a world in the shadow of COVID-19.

We will experience internalization and assimilation of the situation and reevaluate the direction towards we are heading.

That is the basis of what I term as the Golden Opportunity of Organizational Resilience.

The Golden Opportunity of Organizational Resilience has several components:

  • Gathering: Gathering all the information relevant to the situation
  • Organizing: Organizing people and resources aiming to enable operational efficiency
  • Learning: Learning the case from all the accumulated data
  • Development: Developing an operational plan whose purpose is to provide the organization tools and procedures that enable optimum flexibility and adaptability to situations

Each of the Golden Opportunity components requires joint work of the organization’s management and workers, no matter its place, position, or magnitude, if it is a small private business or a big one.

Organizations are obliged to examine their resilience under the Golden Rules, for one of the lessons from last year is that COVID-19 forced us to adapt and look at reality from a different perspective.

The process of disillusionment organizations went through during 2020 has created that Golden Opportunity.

Today, it is clear that contrary to the position we were in a year ago, the COVID-19 will not disappear from our lives, and there is even the possibility the situation will worsen before we will be able to say we overcame the pandemic. Enough to observe the virus’s mutations- British, South- African, Brazilian, and probably some we are not yet aware of, to understand that the virus is here to stay.

Adopting the Organizational Golden Opportunity requires us to address the purpose and mission of the organization.

Organizations will require to answer, to themselves, whether the globalization that was the queen of the world is the one who will continue to rule, or whether there is a possibility in which organizations that laid on international foundations will be able to continue to survive in the same fashion as before the COVID-19, or they will reach the conclusion they need to come up with a local alternative.

Suffice to look at the world today and observe that every nation closes itself within its borders and does not let free passage to understand the changes we are facing.

An organization that will not be wise enough to adopt new approaches, and sometimes creative ones, regarding its field of expertise, might find itself outside of the game and in a less extreme situation shuffling at the margins.

The organizational resilience I deal with does not refer to the organization’s financial strength as a tool to prevail in this challenging time.

I point to a broader perspective of the internal resilience of the organization. During 2020, a lot of the organizations’ actions stemmed from traditional economic thinking of expenses reduction, which were manifested almost automatically in the decrease of the human resource.

An organization that knows how to take care of the workers’ welfare and engagement will enjoy precedence once we head towards going out of the crisis. It is not relevant whether the work is performed from home or whether the worker is on leave without pay. According to the Golden Opportunity model, the foundation stone in establishing rules and procedures is future thinking and forward-looking toward rising out of the crisis, even though it is still challenging to see it and there is uncertainty about its timing.

As I see it, the foundations of a resilient organization are its people owning a sense of resilience. An organization that wants to survive a crisis of this sort can not rely only on financial reservoirs or activity reduction. The management has to remember that the key to procedural motivation is the workers. Therefore, the organization ought to assist its workers in going through the crisis, eventually adding to its resilience.

The year 2021 will be a significant landmark in the way organizations in the world will operate and develop.

Additionally to building resilience, we will confront the situation where some organizations will be required to deal with their purpose and even change and redefine it under the current reality. Incorporating the Golden Opportunity components in building organizational resilience will enable management to create new operational and growth channels.