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Accinctus - The Debate for Business Continuity - Spock vs. Kirk

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Friday, 28 March 2014 00:00

The Debate for Business Continuity - Spock vs. Kirk Featured

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Is your company passionate about preparedness, logical about continuity, or are you walking around thinking everything is great, oblivious to potential doom right around the corner? 

Last week I published 5 information papers for global Business Continuity Awareness Week that addressed key thoughts regarding business preparedness. 

  • What is business continuity and the reason you need to do it

  • What is the cost of being unprepared

  • What are the laws and standards you need to be aware of

  • What are the benefits of a business continuity program

  • What action you can take to prepare your business

Rather than rehash the papers, you can find all five here if you need to catch up:  http://www.accinctus.com/index.php/downloads/item/31-business-continuity-awareness-week

Logical reasons, costs, laws, benefits, and steps to take action – all important, valid topics but in many cases they may not be very exciting because they focus on the “Mr. Spock” approach. 

In speaking to different business owners and leaders, sometimes I find it is difficult for people to understand these ideas related to risk, costs, and the need to be proactive.  Deciding to do anything to prepare their business can be even more difficult.  Inaction is easy to justify because people feel that doing something costs lots of money or time, or isn’t needed because they think insurance will cover it all, or because they just don’t think anything bad will happen.  As Spock would say, “Those justifications are highly illogical.” 

 

So for the moment I’m going to be a little more myself and go with the “Captain Kirk” method – more of a “punch-in-the-gut” perspective why you should take some action to prepare your business for minor disruptions and major disasters.

  • It can save your business.  Something major will happen and if you aren’t prepared to deal with whatever it is, your business may never reopen.  I have plenty of examples, but the bottom line is that you have no bottom line if your company is shut down.

  • It will reduce loss.  A small disruption may only cost you around 10-25% of your daily revenue for a few days. Planning for those disruptions will give you options to reduce that impact.  Reducing that potential loss from 25% of your revenue to 5% or less requires action. 

  • It can save you a major pain in the “posterior” and cost in court.  You are required to do what is considered reasonable to provide a safe workplace for employees and customers.  If you don’t take action you can be found negligent and that usually translates to big penalties in court.    

  • It can save lives.  This may sound fantastic but it’s not an exaggeration.  Whether an employee who has a stroke or heart attack in your break room (and precious seconds are ticking away till help arrives) or the evacuation plan you practice and your employees get out safely from a fire or explosion (ask the 1300 Morgan Stanley employees who had to evacuate from the WTC on 9-11) - it all matters and can make a real difference in the lives of people you see every work day.    

It doesn’t matter which perspective you prefer, the logical, reasoned Spock or the impassioned, shoot from the hip Kirk, both perspectives end the same – you damn well should do something to make your business prepared.  If you don’t do something your company is really like one of the red-shirted crew members that never make it when things start to go wrong.

 

 

As always – Be Aware, Be Prepared, Be Safe.

 

 


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