Business Continuity: Getting a Seat at the Table

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Why inviting business continuity for appetizers rather than table scraps mitigates risk and lowers cost.

It is a sad plight that too often business continuity professionals are reacting to critical, planned business change rather than evolving with, or ahead of, the company’s new direction. Our world and our businesses are constantly evolving. Expansion into global markets. Consolidation. Divestiture. Acquisitions. Expansion. Changing workforce dynamics. They all are driven by senior leadership who must adapt their company’s strategic direction to meet changing market demand and competitive pressures.

Necessary? Often.

Upending? Yes.

Especially when surprised rather than advised of changes that cause a seismic shift to the organization’s structure, personnel and sometimes geographic location.

Business Continuity Management’s approach must adapt rather than react to changing business direction.

Giving a seat at the leadership table and including business continuity earlier in planning strategic change, helps reduce risk exposure during and after the change. Adapting business continuity strategies and plans beforehand eliminates the need to ‘return to the funding well’ due to unanticipated rework or rapid reversals of costly business continuity strategies.

Twice in my career, I’ve shown up to work only to learn that the company’s world had changed overnight. First when employer ‘A’ divested three of five large divisions; second when employer ‘B’ went from five divisions to nine overnight. The ‘ripple effect’ across mitigation strategies, continuity and recovery teams, and business continuity plans and procedures was drastic to say the least. Being ahead of the change would have saved hundreds of labor-hours and reduced the risk exposure to new areas suddenly outside of the current business continuity program.

Business Continuity Management requires a more business-centric view. 

Too often Business Continuity Management is considered ‘insurance,’ a cost center and a distractor rather than a strategic differentiator. So, how do we get a seat at the table? Gain a seat by:

  • Elevating the discussion within the company. This action involves using business language to connect business continuity with the business strategy.
  • Helping executives see the underlying value by measuring contributions and assisting sales teams to close new or renew business.
  • Showcasing the business continuity management program for clients.
  • Learning the business language.
  • Discussing results with an executive. This effort changes the playing field and lets business continuity engage higher up the food chain.

Align your BCM program with strategic direction for a more agile response and lower costs.

Interlock with enterprise risk management (ERM) processes and frameworks. Adapting a common look and feel between the readily embraced ERM program and business continuity promotes quicker adoption by executives. Incorporate and interlock existing services and process from risk, security and internal audit to blur the lines and achieve common goals faster and more efficiently.

Make your reservation now.

Like getting a seat at the table for a popular restaurant, a seat at the strategic business table can be a long and slow process. Establishing a business-centric view, common business language and aligning with existing programs will give you the currency you need to make that reservation at the big table.

Let Firestorm help you make your reservation now.  Contact Linda Laun at [email protected]

Look for our Infographic on this next week!

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