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Spotlight on Resilience – Building a Transition Bridge from Service Life to Business

September 20, 2021 Leave a comment DRI Admin

The topic of resilience, whether it is organizational, operational, societal or personal, has been making waves within business circles for the last decade, as organisations begin to realise that to survive in today’s complex environment requires the need to take a system of systems approach to building and maintaining resilience. While this ability to think in such a way may be new to the junior or middle management of business, individuals from the Armed Forces have been taught to think critically, making decisions based on evidence and analysis, rather than just gut instinct.

Dr. Aaron Gracey, one of the DRI’s instructors, is one of these individuals. Having served for over eighteen years within the United Kingdom’s military, initially starting life as an infantry soldier and completing his service as a Major, he found the transition to civilian life a little turbulent. He sought for a role that would challenge him, while also utilising the skills he had obtained in the military. In 2012, the rapidly expanding field of resilience offered just such a challenge, and he entered the domain. Over the next few years, he pulled upon his knowledge, skill set and embarked on a PhD program, aiming to develop a greater understanding of the resilience field and how to increase the awareness and need across business and industry.

Throughout his military career he was involved with the training and development of critical thinking and intelligence gathering activities, as well as developing the planning processes within Command teams. He served in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Balkans, and Iraq, as well as training commanders for operations in Afghanistan. Since 2018 Dr Gracey has taught on MSc courses with the UK Resilience Centre, developed an organisational resilience management system and consulted to UK Government agencies on the development of national resilience standards and doctrine. He has also had several research papers published in various internationally read journals.

“Many of the skills and thought processes needed for resilience practitioner roles are taught within the military, though unfortunately there are few organisations in civilian life that can help transition these skills into much needed business roles,” says Dr Gracey. “The DRI, through its certification approach for practitioner courses offers this ability, assisting individuals who are transitioning into civilian life to have a recognised resilience qualification. As the UK financial and commercial sectors start to heavily invest in operational resilience roles, DRI courses provide an opportunity for service leavers to enter the fray already armed with another much-needed string to their bow.”

The DRI, through its UK team, offer several courses within the UK to enable individuals to obtain a certified practitioner award in either Business Continuity or Cyber Resilience. These courses run for five days and provide a wealth of knowledge, analysis, and case studies, as well as pulling from the knowledge of those attending the course. The DRI also offers other courses in IT disaster recovery, Risk management and a top up course for those already in a Business Continuity role. For those that have obtained a practitioner role in Business Continuity and have several years of experience, there is an opportunity the Master Business Continuity Practitioner award. Dr Gracey notes that “the DRI approach on maintaining your experience and competence, through professional development, provides a second to none opportunity to demonstrate to employers your capability and professional knowledge within the resilience domain.”

Further information on the courses can be obtained at drii.org/UK

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