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Complex Organisations In Complex Environments

Complex Organisations In Complex Environments

Risk and crisis management for complex organisations is all about integration of multiple stake-holders, both internal within the organisation and external with outlying networks.
For any complex organisation (that is any organisation that operates in different regions, cultures and jurisdictions; that has multiple management structures, internal hierarchies and decision-paths; that operates in silos across multiple departments, and that has multiple internal and external critical dependencies that are rarely mapped or understood), the radical changes in the global risk environment means that it is not enough for those organisations to tweak existing risk management models and frameworks.
In order to prepare for the challenges that 2021-‘25 will undoubtedly bring, they will need to radically reconsider what their requirements are, not just for Covid-19 (which will be with us for a significant amount of time) but for the whole range of other high-impact crisis scenarios that are likely to be part of our operating environment for the foreseeable future.


It is important to have technical development – protocols, management structures, support technology, etc, but just as important are the cultural issues – openness to discussion, sensitivity to the external environment, agility and rapidity in decision-making, and above all, leadership. Leadership is critical at every level of operations, but in terms of enterprise risk management, particularly at the C-Suite strategic leadership level.

For an organisation to be truly resilient, the single most critical issue is to be a learning organisation. Without the ability (and willingness) to learn – and to have that embedded as an intrinsic value – then almost nothing else will have a long term and sustainable impact.

None of the above needs additional control rooms, satellite systems or high-level technological upgrades. They are cultural issues. The question is not ‘What do we need to do?’. The correct question is ‘What sort of organisation do we think we need to become?’.

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