Bad things shouldn't happen to good businesses, but they inevitably do. Companies face hurricane-force winds, floods, earthquakes, fires, political upheaval, corruption, power blackouts, and transportation failures, to name just a few. And for many businesses, a disaster striking a key supplier could create a threat every bit as serious as a disaster at corporate headquarters.

What's not inevitable is for unforeseen events, wherever they strike, to do irreparable damage to the business. The ability to sail through difficulty and rebound from disruption is known as "resilience." Despite its buzzword status, the concept perfectly captures the position companies should strive to occupy in an increasingly risky world.

Even a brief disruption in business can cause lasting harm to company revenue, market share, shareholder value, and reputation. In fact, Accenture research has shown that supply-chain disruptions can reduce an affected company's shareholder value by 7 percent. These stakes make resilience a C-level—if not a board-level—priority.

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