Navigator – Resilience: building back better

How have companies weathered the current crisis? And how are they preparing for an uncertain future? Our survey shares insights from business decision-makers around the world

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A picture of challenge and change

Businesses are living through the biggest global crisis in a generation.

To understand how it’s affected them, including their plans for the future, we surveyed more than 2,600 business decision makers globally as part of our annual Navigator research.

The results paint a picture of challenge and change. While 98% of businesses have felt the impacts of the crisis, 65% have been agile and stable enough to be resilient. And many see the crisis as a catalyst for change and long-term growth.

The insights in the Resilience report could help you grasp those opportunities while overcoming the challenges.

Why not get ahead today?

Navigator – Real insights from real businesses

Resilience unwrapped

Our research revealed a common understanding among businesses of all sizes and sectors of the building blocks of resilience.

They are:

  • Pulling through by pulling together – with customers, employees and other businesses
  • Building agility through a collaborative, people-first culture
  • Seeing sustainability as vital for resilience today and growth tomorrow
  • Using technology to build that culture and grow the company
  • Using closer relationships with suppliers to build a secure and transparent supply chain

How is your business building resilience?




What does the Navigator research mean in practice for businesses?

This conversation features:

  • Barry O'Byrne, CEO of HSBC Global Commercial Banking
  • Paul Clarke, Chief Technology Officer at Ocado
  • Vanessa Havard-Williams, Partner and Global Head of Environment at Linklaters law firm

The discussion is hosted by Michael Lawrence, Chief Executive of Asia House. (17m)

Resilience is the result of many factors

Companies of all sizes and sectors agree there’s more to resilience than just a strong balance sheet.


of your peers see employee morale as the biggest barrier to resilience in the next six months

Resilience is multi-faceted. The top characteristics of a resilient business are:

50% valuing customers
49% Treating employees well
47% Adapting fast to external events
Businesses aren’t waiting to be told how to ‘build back better,’ they’re starting now. The human tragedy and huge economic damage caused by COVID-19 have accelerated transformation plans and have brought relationship inter-dependencies to the forefront of leaders’ thinking.

Barry O’Byrne, CEO of HSBC Global Commercial Banking

Businesses are concentrating on culture

Capturing the positive changes from the crisis and putting people first will help businesses become more agile.

As part of this cultural change, workplaces are being reimagined, with investment in technology supporting this shift.


of businesses say treating employees well is a key characteristic of a resilient business; four in five feel closer to employees, customers and suppliers

Sustainability is taking centre stage

Businesses increasingly view sustainability as integral to their operations. Like technology, it both builds resilience and offers long-term opportunities for growth.


of businesses see environmental sustainability as a priority, with nine in ten seeing transformation as an opportunity to prioritise sustainability

Where will the pressure come from to be more sustainable in the next 1-2 years?

92% External sources, including customers and investors
75% Internal sources, including employees and business leaders
54% Regulators, including industry and government
Pre- COVID we debated corporate purpose and the notion that ‘value’ reflects a more holistic view of the full financial, social and environmental impacts of a business. We’re now seeing a societal shift that will take this further and faster.

Natalie Blyth – HSBC Global Head of Trade and Receivables Finance

Technology will continue to be critical

While technology has kept many businesses going, its longer-term value will lie in supporting a more responsive, collaborative culture.


businesses are preparing for future uncertainty by adopting technology or investing in innovation

Better collaboration will make supply chains more secure

Businesses are building closer relationships with suppliers to gain more control and build transparency.


of companies have supported the businesses they work with and two thirds want to make their supply chain more secure over the next 1-2 years