Executives in every quarter of the enterprise are telling us they learned a huge lesson this year: Lean, mean and just-in-time don’t work so well when the whole world is immersed in turmoil. And with no shortage of global crises ahead, it’s time to consider where buffers and flexibility should take priority.
“Resilience” is the word of the hour, even in the throes of recession. In this issue of Gartner Business Quarterly, we make this gauzy concept concrete. As Roberta Witty and Peter Young write in our top story, the organization as a whole “must build the capability to bounce back from any kind of setback — whether it’s a pandemic, natural disaster, economic change, government decision, competitive onslaught, cyberattack or espionage.”
In a series of short articles, we’ll explain how the executive team should set overall resilience plans. We’ll also deliver specific, cost-effective (and underused) tactics for a more adaptable culture, workforce, supply chain and business model. You’ll learn how to be nimble without becoming distracted, how you can expand your team temporarily with people who already know your business, how to automate — in phases — to free up capacity, how to weigh where it’s necessary to build in extra options and, just as importantly, where it’s not. Even purposeful ESG spending can help your company withstand and recover from disruption.