Resilience research: Preparing for AI and ESG developments

Research expert Echo has introduced its new resilience research methodology to support organisations in understanding their resilience to shock and change

The working world has changed in many ways since the coronavirus pandemic. 

Increased working from home, drop in consumer demand and supply chain issues are up there with the most discussed, with impacts still being felt across all industries.

COVID-19 fallout teamed with climate anxiety and global political unrest leaves the future harder to track than ever before, meaning businesses need to be prepared for shock and resilient to change. 

Research experts Echo have introduced RQ2  — a new resilience research methodology.

RQ2 allows companies and organisations to assess their preparedness for change in this fluctuating climate. 

“Many of our conversations highlighted the fact that resilience is a synonym for sustainability and

should be understood in that way,” Echo says. 

“It has to be viewed and developed with a future focus – and should therefore be measured as a contribution towards that.”

Identifying areas for sustainable development and growth

Echo detects tendencies in resilience consultancies to advise without comprehensive review of the wide, long term vision. 

In response to this gap in the market, RQ2 is all-encompassing, providing the insights needed to identify organisational pressure points and make informed decisions to improve overall resilience.

Echo has identified four key characteristics to effective organisational resilience:

  • Clarity of objectives — a clear and defined aim that is adaptable to circumstance
  • Clear values — those that are agreed and set with a sense of efficacy
  • Confidence to act with purpose toward business goals
  • Organisational intelligence — a confident culture with open knowledge sharing from top to bottom

These work to buttress the five five types of resilience, all which work on both the personal and organisational levels:

  • Physical 
  • Emotional 
  • Competence 
  • Community 
  • Psychological 

Sustainable strategy throughout your organisation

At the heart of RQ2 is the understanding that the organisation and individual are intertwined. 

The methodology sets an institution’s Resilience Quotient, which critically links the organisational and individual levels to display overall institutional health.

Based on this comprehensive view, RQ2 provides a quantified research platform for action, which allows leaders to strengthen and enhance resilience and change-readiness within their organisation. 

“RQ2 combines intelligence drawn from internal and external audiences and perspectives,” Echo says. “RQ2 acts as an early warning system to alert leaders to the possibility of culture and operational misalignment. Corporate failures are so often a result of culture rather than events, so regular measurement of resilience is becoming critical to continued organisational health.”

Resilience in ESG

Climate change is a known unknown — companies are developing ESG strategies, individuals are making climate-conscious decisions and resilience is being built, but what does that look like for future challenges in ESG? 

Strategy development is key to ride the tide of ever-fluctuating challenges in ESG. As Echo highlights, it is important to identify cultures within companies and how they can be adapted to be adaptive. 

“The most egregious failures of organisations in recent times were all felt to be the result of poor culture, rather than specific events,” Echo finds. 

“As the sustainability agenda continues to evolve, including but going beyond the current ESG dimensions, this pressure to perform will only intensify.”

As pressure for companies to be moving towards net-zero grows, and global industry changes including artificial intelligence develop, resilience in ESG becomes an increasing necessity. 

Industry leaders in research for top companies globally 

Echo was founded in 1989 by Sandra Macleod, who sits as Group CEO and is cited as 'among the 100 most influential people in PR’. 

Macleod is recognised as an industry leader, receiving the 2018 Page Distinguished Service Award and 2020 Don Bartholomew Award for her contribution to reputation management and measurement globally.

Alongside her work at Echo, she has founded amec and co-chairs the judges for the MCA and CIPR annual industry awards. She is Ambassador to the International Integrated Reporting Council and sits on the Governance and Sustainability Board of Richemont SA.

Since its inception, Echo has provided over 500 clients with insightful research and delivered breakthrough work on brand, reputation, relationships and issues that aim to support positive change.

The company won multiple awards, and has worked with some of the biggest companies across the globe, including a quarter of the FTSE and Fortune 100 companies. 

As Tarquin Henderson, Director of ESG Practise at Echo put it: 

“Organisational resilience really does depend on people”

RQ2 is here to combine the organisation and the individual to strengthen companies for whatever the future holds.


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