Industry Angles: Episode 2 - Rethinking resilience

In this episode we discuss resilience, what it is and how companies can build it into their businesses and people. We explore the acceleration of digital transformation and how businesses can take their people on that journey with them.

Our guest speakers: James Duez, CEO, Rainbird, an intelligent decision engine, Justin McCarron, Everyday Resilience, Resilience Coach for organisations and individuals, and Harry Dougall, CFO and Co-founder, Sagacity that helps organisations solve complex business challenges.


James Duez, CEO, Rainbird, an intelligent decision engine.

Justin McCarron

Justin McCarron, Resilience Coach, Everyday Resilience working with organisations and people.

Harry Dougal

Harry Dougall, CFO and Co-founder, Sagacity that helps organisations solve complex business challenges.

We start off by asking the panellists about a recent BDO European survey from before the pandemic that showed 75% of bosses thought they had done enough to withstand another financial crisis like the one in 2008.

This leads to a debate about whether those surveyed were right or wrong:

  • Harry says it depends on the population and sectors surveyed. Many companies were already on that technology route and would have been able to cope and provide services.
  • James explains that this is not 2008, the pressures are different. Many tech companies will now have products and services with greater utility in comparison to retail and hospitality.
  • Justin adds that it depends on what you call surviving. We’re constantly evolving and changing so at what point has something evolved beyond what it was before?

Justin concludes that generally what they find is that most people experience post traumatic growth, on a personal level, in the long term.

Read our article on adapting to changing business conditions that offers advice on embedding resilience into your business.

Our Advisory team can offer advice and practical support to improve operational improvement and effectiveness.

Digital transformation in a rapidly changing world

The panellists all acknowledge that companies are going through an accelerated pace of change and the digital revolution will be the next chapter of that change. How they adapt and keep people and customers at the centre of that change will be key.

For James at Rainbird, once companies had the technology to get their teams up and running they were looking ahead. He sees the intelligent automation revolution as that next chapter. 

Harry explains how a lot of companies were already on that journey, but it has been accelerated. For Sagacity, who works with customer data and analysis, they’re seeing companies redesigning the entire customer journey. For example, a high street shop may become an experience centre using data that puts customers at the centre.

Justin says that for many people there’s the expectation of being 'on' all the time. Businesses can take this opportunity to look at how technology works for people in a smart way that helps them and their people feel more productive and efficient. It’s a chance to reimagine how technology and people work together.

Read our article on the benefits of robotics to improving business resilience and productivity.

Businesses looking to build resilience within their finance function should leverage finance and accounting technology to identify and address productivity roadblocks that may exist.

Digital technical centres of excellence and taking people with you on that journey

Harry says that it has to work for every individual and one size fits no one. It’s about understanding the customer. The landscape has shifted and what we thought we knew about customers and their behaviours is no longer the same.

James says relationships are absolutely key for digital transformation to work for people and businesses. Emphasising a global centre of excellence to achieve a central capability who take responsibility for digital transformation is important to support local teams with solving local problems.

Justin explains that history has shown us that most top down processes fail. The more engagement and the more conversations and consultations you have with your teams can then co-create a solution in the centre of excellence model.

Take a look at our blog series on “The Reluctant IT Director” that provides advice and guidance on leveraging IT for remote working for your business and people.

When implementing any new technology solution there are many factors to be considered. In this article we look at one particular tool and the importance of it being a team effort.

Resilience: people plus flexibility

James says that building in resilience when you don’t know what you have to be resilient about is something that society has grappled with. He believes it’s about having creativity and imagination and the base skills to adapt and reimagine what you can do.

Justin explains that when we talk about resilience we mean business resilience and we forget about the people that run the business. We need to look at how you support the people who work for you to adapt. 

The conversation moves to recruitment and Harry notes that recruitment is not about pay rises. It’s about understanding what’s important and what motivates your workforce.

James adds that we know we can work from anywhere. These automation technologies are all about people and it’s about liberating the individual to be able to do what they do best and from whererever they are. 

If you’re looking to retain and engage great talent and are considering international assignments, our Global Employer Services Team can provide you with the support for both your business and your people.

In this article we share practical advice on remote working and how to leverage it for productivity and collaboration.

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