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Building Resilience in Client Organisations: The Consultant’s Challenge



We review the concept of organisational resilience from the perspective of a consultant-client relationship. Specifically, we argue that the issue of a client’s resilience in the face of performance-diminishing disruptions needs to be a central theme of any consultant-client relationship. Management consultants have a responsibility to clients to support their resilience capabilities regardless of whether a given assignment explicitly uses the language of resilience. However, our literature review suggests this is a formidable challenge, particularly with larger and more complex client organisations. Understanding the client’s resilience landscape involves learning about the effectiveness of prior responses to disruptions at individual, organizational, and network levels. Advising the client on how to improve their resilience capabilities requires the consultant to think very carefully about the overall type of resilience needed, the reasons behind this stance, the level of implementation and the scope of implementation.