This 2020, most organizations and enterprises were forced to grapple with the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the year drew to a close, the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) held a Skills Lab on Achieving Organizational Resilience last December 14 to 15, 2020. Attended by around 40 individuals from the health, education, and security sectors, this new course focused on equipping participants with the capacity to overcome and withstand disruptions amidst crisis through a leveled-up risk management mechanism. 

Facilitating the two-day lecture and workshop were: Mr. Mel Cabodil, President of the Business Continuity Managers Association of the Philippines (BCMAP), joined by BCMAP Directors Mr. Joselito Martin Capinpin, Mr. Jaycee dela Cruz, Mr. Baste Puache, and Ms. Joanna Rose Laddaran. 

Not just an afterthought

Mr. Cabodil opened the lecture with a short situationer, giving an overview of how the Philippine society is no stranger to crises with its constant encounters with both natural and man-made hazards. In view of this, mechanisms for risk management and overall resilience has gradually become essential for organizations and enterprises. 

“As you continue to improve business, [you realize] resilience is part and parcel of it. It’s not just an afterthought anymore,” said the BCMAP President. 

In practice, however, responding to crises takes on many forms which varies from defensive or reactive action to a more proactive or progressive move. Mr. Cabodil then underscored that Organizational Resilience relies a great deal on the “ability of an organization to anticipate, prepare for, respond, and adapt to incremental change and sudden disruptions in order to survive and prosper.” 

More than planning, doing, and acting, there has to be an element of foresight, per the Business Continuity Manager. 

Brain work begins

Later on, the five BCMAP Directors walked the participants through the 10 Professional Practices for Business Continuity Management. Over the course of the morning session, each director discussed a couple of the practices which allowed the participants to dive deeper into the facets of Business Continuity. 

These principles journeyed from the compliance and technical side of business practices, to the processes for understanding potential risks, and further, the strategies for delegating resources to respond to crises. They also took into account the documentation, training, communication, and external linkage needs that would enable the enterprise to establish and implement its incident response smoothly. 

The brain work thereafter began on the second day of the Skills Lab. Divided into breakout groups, each participating organization had their solo coaching session with one of the facilitators from BCMAP. Together, they filled out a Business Continuity Plan document that zoomed in on the details of their unique services, the potential risks that can disrupt these services, and the different components that ensure the holistic approach of one’s continuity strategy.

Before the course ended, each group also had the chance to share their accomplished outputs, thus ultimately facilitating the shared learning experience that the Skills Labs do well to foster among its multi-sector participants.