The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) has launched a collaboration to specifically address how organisations can better deal with changes and sudden disruptions like the ones they have already been facing in 2020.
The collaboration, called Resilience Alliance, is described as "a new professional relationship aimed at developing and promoting resilience globally". The IWFM is working with three other professional membership organisations - Airmic (risk managers), ASIS International (security managers) and the Business Continuity Institute - to collectively promote the importance of resilience and establish best practice ‘resilience’ initiatives.
The basis for the collaboration lies on 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 is delivered by multidisciplinary specialists working together towards a common purpose therefore risk management, workplace and facilities, security and business continuity professionals all play a key role.
Each body has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to demonstrate that "risk professionals across the spectrum believe that resilience is a team game and that by collaborating they are stronger".
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’.
The IWFM says each member organisation of the Resilience Alliance has "developed its own lens and approach to the subject of resilience based on its unique purpose, activities and individual member interest".
It adds however that they "also recognise that many resilience challenges are faced and shared by all" and as a result, the Resilience Alliance will "undertake joint communication, thought leadership initiatives and research projects on the good practices organisations can develop and adopt to better prepare themselves for the impact of sudden disruptions or crises".
Members will also be encouraged to share their professional knowledge, supporting the collaboration.
IWFM chief executive Linda Hausmanis said that COVID-19 had "underlined the importance of resilience as organisations have needed to be adaptive and flexible in the face of challenging and uncertain circumstances".
"Resilience will continue to be paramount in the coming months as we emerge from the crisis," added Hausmanis. "Likewise, flexibility will remain key to any newly laid plans as we continue into the unknown.
"Workplace and facilities management professionals have never been more central to the country’s fortunes: the pandemic has shone a light on the importance of our profession in keeping buildings clean, safe and operational, enabling people to do their best work wherever they are, and leading the safe return to work. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we need to come together for the greater good. The Resilience Alliance exemplifies this principle and we look forward to working with our partners."
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 - one that is constantly changing and where working in silos is no longer an option."
Peter O’Neil, CEO of ASIS International, also said: “Resilience plays a significant role in the security profession as a whole, particularly as it relates to crisis management and business continuity challenges. The ability to prepare for, and adapt to, changing conditions and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions is a major role of security professionals worldwide."