Firms place reputation top of priorities list

Reputation management is the top priority for business leaders, while supply chains are the least resilient aspect of business, a new global survey has claimed.

Reputation even took precedence over financial proceedings in the standard of Organisational Resilience developed by BSI.

Other aspects such as leadership, vision and purpose were also deemed to be less important to long term business success than maintaining a good reputation.

However, despite the level of importance placed on reputation, 43% of those questioned said they felt their business was vulnerable to reputational risk.

Ten sectors across the UK and Ireland, USA and Asia Pacific regions were studied, with 55% of UK firms saying their firm’s current reputation is excellent or very good – compared to 62% globally.

The aspects of business deemed to be least important were horizon scanning, alignment and community engagement.

An apparent lack of future planning is not without risk, as a company’s position can change very quickly following unexpected events or expenditure.

Having contingency plans can help to limit this risk to ensure that a business has a number of options when it comes to dealing with issues it may face.

Of course, many of the aspects are tied together, as low levels of finance can harm a company’s reputation if it means stock levels drop or if product development slows.

For those operating in competitive marketplaces, reputation can be what sets one business aside from another – as customers are more likely to shop somewhere they believe to be trusted.

Acting at the first sign of trouble or financial difficulty is therefore essential when it comes to protecting a business in the long-term, as any reputational damage can be difficult to recover from.

An independent business review can take a look at a business’ strategy, assets and finances while also suggesting a plan to ensure stable future training.

BSI chief executive Howard Kerr warned against complacency too, adding: “Our culture of instant communication means that reputations can be destroyed in minutes.”

Concerns over the supply chain also exist, as business leaders said they dislike how little control they often have over the processes involved.


By Phil Smith


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