Technology & Innovation

Building business value - Resilience in a rapidly evolving global environment

June 16, 2023


Building business value - Resilience in a rapidly evolving global environment

June 16, 2023

Sofia Economopoulos

Manager, Policy & Insights, Economist Impact

Sofia Economopoulos is a Policy and Insights Manager at Economist Impact, where she manages research and analysis projects across a variety of sectors, including technology, workforce, and innovation. 

Prior to joining the Economist Group, Sofia worked in government affairs for Warner Bros. Discovery and GE, and as an international visitor liaison for the US Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. She holds a BA in Foreign Affairs and Media Studies from the University of Virginia and a Master’s of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. She is based in Washington, DC.

Business value can be a nebulous term, understood differently between and even within companies.

Its definition depends on the target of the value. According to Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman, shareholders were considered to be the main recipients. Today, however, businesses face pressure to create value for a wider range of stakeholders—employees, customers, the supply chain and the communities in which they operate. This shift expands value beyond what can be measured in purely monetary terms. The growing importance of intangible resources, such as intellectual property and digital assets, has further transformed the concept of business value, pushing it beyond the physical realm of property, machinery and capital goods.

Companies work to protect what they see as intrinsic to their continued operations. Therefore, an essential element to a company’s value strategy is a concurrent approach to resilience—the proactive capacity to absorb stress, recover critical functionality and thrive in altered circumstances [1]. The disruption of normal working practices and supply chains during both the covid-19 pandemic and the energy crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have aptly demonstrated the need for business resilience—and the necessity of preparing for the most unexpected of scenarios.

How did those companies that thrived during the pandemic not only stay resilient but also create new value? Michael Cairo, chief security officer at GE, argues that business resilience is specific to each company and is based on a series of factors, including broad capabilities in crisis management, emergency response and digital protection.

In order to uncover what companies value, the strategies they are employing to protect those assets and create resilience, where they see risk and opportunity, and how prepared they feel for future changes, in December 2022 and January 2023 Economist Impact, supported by Dataminr, conducted a bespoke survey of 600 senior business leaders. Respondents represent companies from six industries (retail, pharmaceuticals, tech, energy, financial services and manufacturing), located across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, that have annual revenues of at least US$500m [2].

In examining companies’ value creation and resilience priorities, Economist Impact found that three pillars were foundational to building resilience: organizational, technological and operational. Within this context, two key themes emerged. First, there is a growing need to integrate ESG (environmental, social and governance) policies into corporate strategy. Second, there is a need to better protect and enhance digital assets in order to capitalize on value creation opportunities.

The findings of the research were distilled into a whitepaper and five industry profiles, energy and utilities, financial services, retail and consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and technology.

[1] BCG Henderson Institute. Becoming an all-weather company. August 2020. Available from:
[2] Additional survey demographics are included in the appendix.

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