Shared Resilience: A Crisis Preparedness Toolkit for Organizations

Dec 19, 2023 10:30 AM ET

NEW YORK, December 19, 2023 /3BL/ - COVID-19 was a rogue crisis, which highlighted the importance of crises preparedness, according to a new report “Shared Resilience” led by Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose® (CECP), with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The report looks at how the pandemic has influenced corporate change management and focuses on the mindset and behavior changes that corporate leaders and their teams can adopt to develop stronger, collective resilience. This report includes a diagnostic tool for leaders to assess where their company currently stands on the path to purpose, empathy, integration, congruence, trust, and, ultimately, to build that shared resilience.

Companies, local communities, and governments are often better equipped to adapt and prepare for this new normal. Even though there were many early conversations about pandemics and the potential for a large-scale disruptive event, no one was truly prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite that miss, trust in business remains consistent. A July 2023 CECP Pulse Survey found 70% of respondents reported that trust in their companies had stayed the same or increased to varying degrees since before COVID. With that trust also brings responsibility on how to best handle a new class of crisis that requires advanced skills, approaches, and mindsets to tackle progressive or consistent volatility.

According to the report, a few key learnings that leaders are carrying forward, include:

  • Purpose in all its types — competence, culture, and cause — is ultimately the cornerstone of the company, serving as its North Star and fueling its strategy.
  • Agility and resilience are shared traits needed across a business and its stakeholder set.
  • Change efforts must be authentic, integrated, and coordinated across the business to drive congruence of purpose, values, culture, and actions; these elements are increasingly scrutinized.
  • Trust and empathy are vitally important to business success, and their diminishment across society has come at a great cost for business and society.
  • Business, as the most trusted institution, has both a responsibility and an opportunity to act on its purpose, driving a virtuous cycle of business and societal value.

“Shared resilience starts with purpose, which companies need to guide their strategies, engage their stakeholders, and hold themselves accountable in addition to profit creation,” said Nandika Madgavkar, Chief Growth Officer & Head of the CEO Investor Forum. “Companies can work with CECP to use this diagnostic tool to determine where they are and build a strategy to realize their purpose more fully through resiliency. "

The insights in this report were drawn from CECP Pulse Surveys of its corporate coalition and interviews with CEOs, Chief Diversity Officers, Chief Human Resources Officers, and Chief Sustainability Officers, as well as nonprofit leaders, consultants, and public health experts. The report also synthesizes field research pertaining to COVID; disaster and crisis preparedness; corporate responsibility (CR); environment, social, and governance (ESG); diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); and purpose; and websites and public reports of CECP-affiliated companies to gather insights on strategy, operations, and communication approaches related to COVID, climate, DEI, and more.


About Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP)

Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose® (CECP) is a trusted advisor to companies on their corporate purpose journeys to build long-term sustainable value. Working with CEOs and leaders in corporate responsibility, sustainability, foundations, investor relations, finance, legal, and communications, CECP shares actionable insights with its CEO-led coalition to address stakeholder needs.

Founded in 1999 by actor and philanthropist Paul Newman and other business leaders, CECP is a movement of more than 200 of the world’s largest companies that represent $8.7 trillion in revenues, $47 billion in total community investment, 15.1 million employees, 16 million hours of employee engagement, and $34.1 trillion in assets under management. CECP helps companies transform their strategy by providing research, benchmarking, strategy, convening, and communications in the areas of societal/community investment, employee engagement, environmental social governance/sustainable business, diversity equity inclusion, and telling the story.

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