A Case Study on Creating Resilient Organizations


ACTN Strategies at Work – A Case Study on Creating Resilient Organizations

This is the second installment in a four-part series where we’re evaluating case studies that examine real-world challenges faced by our clients and the approaches we took to solve problems and make an impact. Before reading on, we’d love for you to check out our first case study on successful crowd management and security at a high-profile grand opening of a Smithsonian museum.

ACTN Strategies’ Approach to Building Organizational Resilience

Societal disruptions such as the COVID-19 pandemic remind us all of how critical it is for organizations to be flexible, resilient, and quickly adaptable. We know that prolonged impediments can cost a business dearly across its brand, reputation, and bottom line, so our approach to building organizational resilience is comprehensive and forward-looking.

We assess existing organizational structure—including the workforce, the physical environment, IT infrastructure, and communication processes—in addition to organizational culture and the executive decision-making process. Our holistic approach fosters resilient organizations that can ramp up to seize new growth opportunities or scale back to mitigate risks to avoid all-out crises.

A Study on Thriving Amid Disruption

Since its successful grand opening in 2016, we have partnered with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) to provide organizational assessments of its workforce planning strategy, training practices, and crowd management protocols to help deal with public protests, marches, and demonstrations that regularly spill onto NMAAHC’s facility and grounds, as well as its large and often crowded facility.

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, NMAAHC temporarily shut down. Rather than significant layoffs, NMAAHC worked with our team to create a truly resilient workforce with a revamped visitor experience that focused on creating a safe, educational, and positive visit for each person. Our team understood the value of existing staff expertise and that forward-looking preparations would have been impossible with mass layoffs. As a result, the NMAAHC has been able to reopen safely, while managing crowds and still offering an outstanding visitor experience.

Using Partnering Facilitation to Course Correct Multi-Million Dollar, High Visibility Contracts

In 2018 two federal agencies contracted with our team to facilitate executive planning meetings with vendors for various contracts. Our goal was to course-correct programs that were heading toward default or potential arbitration. Using social science principles and other proven science-based techniques, we helped both federal agencies successfully manage change and realize resilient transformation. For our clients, the outcome was a strong, strategic alliance focused on action-oriented decision-making in a trusting partnership.

To learn more about how we’ve partnered with these clients to create and build organizational resilience, check out the full case study here. Up next, we’ll take a closer look at the impact we’ve had using strategic partnering with federal agencies.