The latest new word on the street in regard to sustainability is resiliency. Think of it like this: all metals have a certain level of ‘hardness’ (sustainability) and ‘toughness’ (resiliency).

I associate ‘hardness’ with wear characteristics and the quality of endurance in a particular environment or set of specified conditions.

A very similar concept to a measure of a business’s sustainability is its assessed ability to readily weather its business environment and prosper in that environment. Paralleling the good quality of ‘hardness’ means you must also have a measure of ‘toughness.’

This gives it a recovery factor when severe conditions produce an abnormal shape-bending impact. Its survivability is relative to its measure of ‘toughness.’ The quality of resiliency in relation to sustainability is the same concept.

It’s not enough anymore to just look and be sustainable (people, planet, profit, etc). An organization must also possess and demonstrate resiliency. Simply put: it must be able to quickly and efficiently return to normalcy when hit with an unexpected wave of reality. We must ask ourselves, “how good is our contingency plan?”