FM professionals are perfectly placed within organisations to develop resilience expertise across the wider business, say two risk management consultants.
Their comments follow the launch last month of the Resilience Alliance, the IWFM collaborating with three other professional membership bodies – Airmic (risk managers), ASIS International (security managers) and the Business Continuity Institute – to address how organisations could better deal with changes and disruptions to business.
The basis for the collaboration lies in the belief that there is no single discipline that can claim to cover all aspects of resilience, and organisational resilience is most effectively delivered when operational and professional silos are broken down. Resilience, the organisations say, is delivered by multidisciplinary specialists working together towards a common purpose, risk management, workplace and facilities, security and business continuity professionals all play a key role.
The Resilience Alliance intends to address the implications of the changes and sudden disruptions faced by organisations already in 2020, while also aiming to develop and promote a common mutual understanding of what is meant by the term ‘resilience’.
“Flexibility will remain key to any newly laid plans”
Steve Dance, chief executive at consultancy RiskCentric, said the alliance offers FMs an opportunity to exchange knowledge and expertise “across a wide, yet related spectrum”.
“This is a worthwhile and bold initiative,” said Dance, ”with the potential to make a significant contribution to the overall body of knowledge in creating organisational resilience at both strategic and operational levels.
“The IWFM’s participation will ensure important issues of workplace effectiveness, security and compliance have a role in resilience initiatives and that, via these professional bodies, a cohesive approach is adopted by all.”
Dave Cooke, chair of the IWFM’s risk and business continuity management special interest group, added that the profession’s interconnection with the wider business makes it a ‘key player’ in building an organisation’s resilience structure.
“FM professionals tend to be well connected in their organisations – they understand how organisations work and are key players in helping the organisation build that ability to respond to both foreseeable and unforeseeable challenges. The is an important development which will help build a valuable shared knowledge base and take forward thought leadership in this key area.”
IWFM chief executive Linda Hausmanis said Covid-19 had “underlined the importance of resilience” which “will continue to be paramount in the coming months as we emerge from the crisis.”
Julia Graham, deputy CEO and technical director of Airmic, said: “The events of 2020 have shown us we live in a fast-moving, volatile and connected world that is constantly changing and where working in silos is no longer an option.”