Different forms of transport heading in the same direction

The always-on advantage

How transport leaders can embed and elevate resilience

Whether you’re a leader in aviation, road, rail, or logistics, the past few years have brought a new level and constancy of uncertainty. Rapid and irrevocable shifts run concurrently, eroding profits and threatening organisational survival.

Transport has always been resilient in the face of crises. The difference today is that disruption feels continuous, concurrent, and fevered. We live in an era of the permacrisis.

In response, and supported by our survey of 360 transport organisations and in-depth interviews with leaders across modes, we’ve identified a desire for a new type of ‘always-on’ resilience: a capability ready to not only anticipate and respond to disruption, but to use it as an opportunity to carve out competitive advantage.

believe ‘resilience needs to be an always-on priority in good times and bad’
say investment in resilience can drive competitive advantage
yet two thirds have no plans to increase resilience investment
and less than half believe resilience is an opportunity to do things better

A disrupted world demands always-on resilience

Ad-hoc responsiveness is no longer enough. Always-on resilience ensures organisations are primed to seize the competitive advantage, quicker to respond and anticipate customer shifts, and able to free up the organisational headroom to innovate and improve. Three key themes sit at the centre of this always-on response:

1. Mindset

Without a resilience mindset, even the best laid business continuity, incident management, or recovery plans will be rendered ineffective. Embedding the right mindset hangs on the skills and behaviours of leaders: setting the tone and creating the space to find ways to succeed when disruption occurs.

The nature of risk has changed so much that the foot is on the accelerator – and that’s focusing minds. Risks are moving so quickly that you can’t just ponder and think about it. You’ve got to be much more on the front foot. We’ve been jolted out of the mindset that it’s unlikely something will happen. Now we think that maybe it could.”
Director of Business Assurance, Heathrow Airport

2. Muscle

Always-on resilience calls for the ability to seamlessly, instinctively respond to a range of events. And this means removing processes that impede flexibility, building your muscle memory through scenario planning and wargaming, and designing new ways of operating that maximise resilience.

There’s now a much better understanding that you require always-on resilience, and a layer of resilience behind any desired outcome.”
Director, Information and Cyber Security (CISO), National Highways

3. Ecosystem

The transport ecosystem, with its complex, cross-modal links, presents a unique challenge in terms of achieving resilience. Always-on resilience calls for a shift in the nature of supplier relationships, better knowledge sharing, and global, multi-modal thinking about the best way to navigate challenges and create new opportunities.

You have to consider what the best thing to do is from a total value perspective; stepping back and looking at it. You have to step away from your local impact to a much more supply chain-based impact if you really want to make progress. And to do that, you have to collaborate.”
Director, Strategic Finance, Port of Rotterdam

How we can help

Our teams provide leaders and their organisations with confidence that their decisions and plans are strengthened; their teams aligned; and that they’re ready to deal with strategic risks, and readiness and resilience challenges, while seeking and seizing new opportunities. To uplift resilience across organisations, we:

  • Develop a resilient mindset at all levels, by designing, developing, and delivering learning solutions for individuals and teams; shaping resilient and psychologically safe cultures; and driving through business change transformations.
  • Build your resilience muscle by reviewing plans and processes; uplifting critical services and systems, including digital and cyber resilience; and testing these using a tailored progressive wargaming exercises programme
  • Strengthen the resilience of your ecosystem across your supply chains, modes, and borders; taking a wider view of resilience and bringing together ideas and best practice from across our extended network of leaders.

Our proven approach combines strategic understanding with a unique blend of expert insight. We combine wargaming with analytics, systems thinking, scenario planning, contingency planning methods, and business and people psychology.

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