Words you NEVER want to say, “if only I had thought of that BEFORE this happened.” That’s the core purpose of Business Continuity – thinking of it and doing what needs to be done to protect assets, continue or restore operations and prevent or avoid any deterioration of our present and future value.
Keep in mind that It doesn’t matter what it is that your enterprise actually does as its purpose and operation. It does matter to you what it is worth and what you will lose if you have a break in service or product, lose the confidence of your key stakeholders, and/or jeopardize your place in your marketplace – even if it is just for one day or, in my case below, one very important meeting.
I had the fine privilege of discussing this very subject this past week with Earl Bell, Island Consulting. Earl is a sharp strategy thinker who has a gift in helping entrepreneurs build their dreams. Our topic was on the risks to keeping that dream – its tangible self – safe and secure and sustainable and valuable. Earl wants it to become more valuable – I like that about him. I told him about my own practice – a single consultant business in Crisis Management and Business Continuity – and my own intellectual property and portfolio and a recent incident that happened to me. I was on a travel trip out of state for a family function, but had a very important online meeting scheduled with people in other places the afternoon that I landed at my Mom’s (who has a laptop in every room of her house – no problem with a computer around). At the point in the afternoon where I was getting ready to launch the meeting, my trusty laptop had a cross-function from hibernate and went into a self-protection mode and I got the infamous Toshiba Red Warning Screen and into the LOOP – you know where it gives you a choice – chose hard drive reformat and all is lost or hit ESC and it starts all over again. No matter how many times I exited out – I still got the dreaded and scary red screen. Well, what was I to do? Thanks to my Mom’s laptop inventory – I had a computer – but what about my FILES – I was trying to DELIVER something here – my core service. I couldn’t access my own info. I was virtually in STOP mode and in a dangerous spot – because I had worked the entire flight and needed the files.
Well – just so you know, I was able to set up the meeting and was able to use a previous draft – by asking a someone to email it to me during the meeting – so I made it through the meeting, but I couldn’t do more and could not reference my work in progress done on the flight — and now everyone knew that I had a process glitch â€¦.I was not a happy camper and this is my BUSINESS, helping clients be prepared.
Earl, as you can imagine, by now, was on the edge of his seat. So, I told him, Happy Ending – I went to the Microsoft Store where I had purchased said laptop and learned it was a weird little thing associated with hibernation and the battery power, etc. They helped through this and we are back in business – and I didn’t lose everything – hurray. And it was then I showed Earl my secret business continuity solution – AHA – my purple flash drive – hanging there on my key ring. A very simple and cost effective solution – I now back up the MY DOCUMENTS file or the ones I am working with – weekly and before shutting down the laptop and I ALWAYS have my files with me. Earl asked, “what if you lose your keys?” Well, he has me there – guess the laptop will have to be the backup to the purple drive. Meanwhile, me (I) and my keys are the back up to my standard – maintaining my work in progress and having fingertip access to my core data even if my laptop goes red.
So, what about you and your business? Now is the time to think about your business and the ways in which you could lose your ability to perform and deliver your core business -think of it now and you will never have to say, “If only I had thought of this before it happened”. Business Continuity – keeping on no matter what and protecting all that great value after Earl helps you build it!
Jan Decker, Crisis Management Consulting 253 261 2704 firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright Jan Decker 2012