Business continuity is important! What organization can succeed if it can’t ensure the flow of its products and services? Could it be that leadership still doesn’t know what business continuity is?
Before we place blame on business leaders who dismiss the relentless efforts of business continuity managers to garner support and funding, perhaps it is time to define business continuity in terms that resonate.
The challenge is to define business continuity in a way that places it in the critical path of an organization’s efforts to obtain and retain clients, not just an insurance policy that only pays off in a crisis.
The first step is to embrace the notion of “management” versus “planning.” Vulnerabilities and threats are endless, but the funds to address them are not. Every risk must be managed, but not every risk needs a plan. In fact, a successful response is more about making great decisions than it is about following a script.
The key is to position business continuity management as a critical element of the organization’s mission and success. Every organization has a responsibility to serve its customers. An organization’s ability to deliver its products and services is the core of its purpose.
A critical success factor, therefore, must be to consider the full spectrum of continuity risks that can impact the flow of products and services. It must organize, measure, and inform. It must make the leadership, and the organization as a whole, more effective and efficient in preparing for and responding to an adverse event. It must serve as a pillar in the relationship of trust that organizations have with their customers, suppliers, shareholders, stakeholders, and employees.
Success in business continuity risk management depends on building a program that enables executives to understand risks and impacts, and empowers the organization to be resilient at time of crisis. It has to be aligned with the business and connected strategically to the organization’s brand and the foundation of trust it has with customers, stakeholders and employees.
Successful programs and successful program managers are knowledgeable, organized, resourceful, and decisive. They leverage emotional intelligence and communicate and collaborate effectively. Legacy views and a focus on planning are destined to fail. Plans, as needed, must come from the strength of an informed core and a focus on compelling business priorities.
Business continuity management is fundamental to the strategic success of every organization. It lies at the core of the organization’s values and mission. Business continuity management is important. It is incumbent upon everyone involved to ensure that every effort is made to understand business continuity risks and address those that cannot be accepted.