- Amid unprecedented change, a business can only be stable through accepting and adapting change - not through resisting it
- SMEs have some inbuilt advantages in this environment. Surveys show many have adapted faster than large firms to the pandemic
- Resilience can be enhanced through better planning
When thinking about business stability, few SMEs can rival Whitechapel Bell Foundry. The firm started in 1570 and made the Liberty Bell (in 1752), Big Ben (in 1858) and the giant bell that rang to open the 2012 London Olympics.
This Shakespearean SME stayed in business through challenges ranging from the Great Fire of London, to the Blitz of World War II - the ultimate example of business stability. But in 2017, the firm closed its doors. Its ancient foundry in the East End of London will soon be a boutique hotel, an illustration of the changing face of business stability.
Stability has long been one of the most desirable assets in business, showing an ability to remain viable despite adverse circumstances. In the case of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, for centuries it made the same product - large bells, primarily for churches - using similar production techniques.
However, business stability is changing. Businesses are no longer expected to remain stable in the face of change, instead they need to be resilient – to adjust, recover and prosper in a changing world. Firms that do not, may collapse like a Jenga tower of blocks.