Why efficiency is holding you back

There is a trade-off between performance and reliability, but it doesn’t have to be zero-sum.

by Julian Birkinshaw and Jérémie Gallien

As we start to emerge from lockdown, the challenge facing business leaders isn’t just one of short-term survival, it’s also about building resilience into their organisations – to buffer them from unexpected shocks, and to help them steer a path through an uncertain future.

Resilience has many dimensions. For some people it is about adapting quickly to changing market dynamics. For others it is a human capacity to cope with adversity. The dimension we focus on here is operational resilience. 

This is the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and retain its basic ability to function; in colloquial terms, keeping the show on the road. It includes such things as having enough people in key roles, ensuring the supply of critical components and keeping current customers happy. 

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