A recent study by Continuity Central showed “the integration of Business Continuity Management (BCM) with other organisational teams” is one of the top change themes for 2018.

Improved focus and coherence, in planning and response, across operational and strategic teams, will help to protect senior leadership and ensure they all work towards the same goal to protect the organisation.

Take the example of a sports team. Post-match interviewees typically thank the coaches and support staff, yet viewers usually judge the individual on their performance regardless of what is happening around them. This is no different to Crisis Management – criticism is usually focussed on those on the frontline but it’s the support in the background that will define success or failure.

CURRENT CHALLENGES

Many organisations work in silos, making it hard to manage simultaneous and co-ordinated planning and response activities. Unclear strategic priorities in areas such as recovery times, consistent and timely communications, priority departments, stakeholder management etc. make it difficult to plan for and manage an effective response. Where strategies are misaligned from ground level up to Group; competing priorities will hinder the response and a firm’s reputation.

This is a challenge in itself for single site businesses; but add the layers of complexity to those operating across different offices, regions and countries with different customers, and the whole response to a crisis is more challenging.

Due to time constraints, competing strategic priorities and a limit on job descriptions, BCM and Crisis Management programmes tend not to equip enough individuals and teams with appropriate tools and varied training techniques to prepare and respond. Too much emphasis is placed on planning, whereas practical, live rehearsals up and down the organisation could be so much more effective.

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